The Three Stages of Matter

The Three Stages of Matter

One of the better references regarding basic hydraulics is a book published in 1943 – Audels Pumps, Hydraulics, Air Compressors by Frank D. Graham.  Here is an interesting illustration from the book depicting the three states of matter.

Water Utility Organization

Water Utility Organization

The Manual of British Water Supply published in 1950 by the Institution of Water Engineers included a very informative discussion of water utility organization. It included two organization charts, both shown below; Figure 89 for a medium sized utility, and Figure 90 for large utility.

Current “Engineering Standard” Practice Regarding Pipe Zone Compaction and Tracer Wire For PVC Pipe

Current “Engineering Standard” Practice Regarding Pipe Zone Compaction and Tracer Wire For PVC Pipe

Although most of the larger water utilities have a ductile iron pipe standard, a few of these utilities allow the use of PVC.  For those utilities, the table below shows current “Engineering Standard” practice regarding pipe zone material compaction and tracer wire: Reference Source Compaction Detection JM Eagle Printed Recommendations Compact to minimum 90% Alameda […]

Mortality Survival Curves

Mortality Survival Curves

Around the middle of the 20th century, water works professionals became very interested in “asset management”–a term which had not yet been coined and refers to the long-term survivability of water works facilities. In the late 1940’s in response to this surge in interest, the American Water Works Association published a 563 page committee report […]

What Streets Have In Common With Water Reservoirs

What Streets Have In Common With Water Reservoirs

Most streets and most water reservoirs need to be “coated”. Of course, the coatings are entirely different (asphalt as opposed to paint), but in both cases, those coatings need be applied with these five “rules” in mind: 1.    Get the right coating material. For both, there are several coating materials that will work, but usually […]

The Original Paving Fabric

The Original Paving Fabric

Here is an intriguing video prepared by the federal government in the 1930’s to encourage the use of cotton  for roadway surfacing. According to this interesting blog post, “After a dirt roadway has been graded, a priming coat of asphalt is spread over it. On top of this, strips of cotton fabric are laid like so […]

Disguising the Functional

Disguising the Functional

As designers, we relish when unique opportunities to truly fit a design to a landscape come across our desks.  A perfect example is a cellular tower located within a public or private greenspace such as a park or a golf course.  Modifying the traditional visual appearance of the structure to resemble a more common site […]

Pedestrian Ramps and Reconstruction Engineering

Pedestrian Ramps and Reconstruction Engineering

Reconstruction engineering can be challenging, especially working within standard specifications to improve existing non-standard roadways.  Sediment deposition on pedestrian ramps is a classic example. Jane wrote what I guess is a “rant” on the subject last year (you can read it here).  This subject is her pet peeve, and frankly, it bothers me as well. […]

Deteriorated Truncated Domes

Deteriorated Truncated Domes

        These truncated domes were installed on top of the original curb ramp in 2002 as part of a sidewalk improvements project in a thriving commercial area in northeast Portland. The adjacent sidewalk was constructed originally in 1916, according to the date stamp. I’ve seen these domes throughout northeast Portland, and many, if not most […]

Sawcut Porous Pavement

Sawcut Porous Pavement

I have been observing this porous pavement installed in a large grocery store parking lot since it was constructed about ten years ago.   The porous pavement was installed in parking areas, with access roadways between the parking areas constructed of asphalt cement pavement.  From observations during rainfall events, it appears as though the porous pavement […]