Siphon Lane Design-Build Pump Station

2016 APWA Sacramento Chapter Project of the Year Award

Three Vertical Turbine Pumps with Diesel-Driven Engines Meet Remote Station Challenge

The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) had been using temporary, diesel-powered, rental pumps to move water from the D.S. Canal to the Snow Mountain and Cascade Canals during emergencies. However, the temporary pumps did not provide adequate flow, setup was cumbersome, and rental and operations were costly. Gateway Pacific Contractors and Bennett Engineering Services formed a design-build team to provide a permanent solution, the Siphon Lane Pump Station. Station design included analysis and selection of three, three-stage vertical turbine pumps with diesel-driven engines.

Design challenges included the remoteness and small size of the site and lack of electrical power service. The canals are also at significantly different elevations, so the hydraulic requirements for pumping to the Cascade Canal are substantially different from those for the Snow Mountain Canal. The team developed an innovative solution to use a flow control valve on the Snow Mountain supply pipe that allowed the station to be simplified in design (three identical pumps) and in operational flexibility.

Electrical power wasn’t available without the prohibitive expense of extending a power line to the remote site. In addition, NID had a requirement that the station would continue to provide at least 50% flow with any simple item failure. The team selected three identical diesel engine driven pumps for the station. With any single failure, the system could provide two-thirds of the design flow. Power for the automated screens, vent fans, and building lights is provided by an innovative system using a large, 200amp generator mounted to each engine and oversized battery tanks that provide engine start and power with no engine running.

The site is situated between the DS Canal on one side and a very steep cliff on the other, with an access road along the cliff. The station configuration was designed to use the smallest footprint possible while providing maintenance access to the equipment. The remoteness of the site required the use of smaller construction equipment and detailed construction sequencing.