Backyard Water Main Replacement
Sacramento Suburban Water District, California

West Yost designed a water main replacement project to replace backyard water mains in a mixed commercial and residential area of Sacramento. On a program level, nearly 30,000 feet of 6/8/12-inch diameter pipelines were replaced. The projects included extensive customer outreach, hydraulic modeling, and a number of innovative approaches to reduce customer impacts and lower construction costs.

Extensive outreach to residences and businesses was conducted to reduce customer impacts and provide bidding contractors with the detailed information needed to reduce bids. Customers were canvassed for requirements and preferences for the new service, meter, and backflow prevention device locations on construction. West Yost scheduled and attended homeowner association meetings, helped map on-site piping in large apartment complexes, and worked through a variety of agents to obtain agreements from landowners. 

Hydraulic modeling was used to determine the hydraulic impacts of the improvements, to confirm pipe sizes for the proposed main replacements, and to determine the proper phasing to ensure fire protection flows would be maintained if the project was split into three construction projects constructed sequentially.

Specifics for individual projects are provided below:

Country Club Vista Water Main Replacement: During the design phase for the Country Club Vista water main replacements, West Yost used an innovative approach to obtain a design-phase exemption from the offset required between potable and non-potable pipelines in the California Waterworks Standards for Sacramento Suburban Water District’s Water Main Replacement Program. The resulting permit covered all of the District’s similar projects, making installation simpler, faster, and less expensive in the typical utility crowded streets throughout Sacramento County.

Group 1 Water Main Replacement: West Yost designed approximately 18,100 feet of 8- and 12-inch DIP mains and appurtenant service interconnections in the street to replace a decaying backyard main system in three older Sacramento County subdivisions, the Fulton Oaks, Santa Anita, and Highlands Oaks. West Yost provided individual service-line location sheets and surveyed all services in all three areas. The project included developing cost-saving alternatives to expensive bore-and-jack installations in utility-clogged streets and multiple slough crossings by designing and obtaining Sacramento County buy-in for attaching pipelines to county-owned bridges. West Yost also provided plans, specifications, and construction cost estimates, and bidding services for the projected $8.4 million project so that it could be bid as a whole or split into three contracts. West Yost obtained a Sacramento County encroachment permit and Sacramento Metro Fire Department input for the placement of fire hydrants.

Marconi Gardens Water Main Replacement: For the Marconi Gardens Project, West Yost provided design and construction services for placing approximately 7,000-feet of 8- and 12-inch DIP water mains in a mixed residential and commercial area to replace decaying backyard mains. The $1.71 million project required working flexibly with the District to develop and implement the process of incorporating new water main replacement installations in adjacent areas, and specifying non-standard installations into existing contracts. The project also required working closely with landowners and the District to establish the most effective means of relocating house services from the back of the house to the front and to minimize shut-downs to allow new main tie-ins.