Part of devastating damage to the city of New Orleans after Hurrican Katrina was caused by the failure of water infrastructure systems throughout the city. To protect the city during future hurricane seasons, the Army Corps of Engineers worked to reconstruct levees and install new pumps; however, things didn’t go as planned in 2006. That’s when the Army Corps of Engineers turned to Pentair’s Fairbanks Morse to provide eleven new pumps for the city’s 17th Street canal. Despite an extraordinarily compressed schedule, Fairbanks Morse delivered the new pumps in time for the start of hurricane season 2007.
Designed, Built and Delivered in Record Time
Fairbanks Morse was awarded a contract for 11 massive pumps to be installed in New Orlean’s 17th Street canal. Fairbanks’ ability to deliver on the contract in just six months, approximately one third of the time it would normally take under the best of conditions, was key. “Usually a project like this will take from 15 to 24 months from design to completion,” said Sam Wood, Director of Sales, Fairbanks Morse.
This timing is especially remarkable given the sheer size of the pumps, which required a high level of customization by Fairbanks Morse. “These pumps are extremely large and they are all custom-built,” said Wood. “We started with nothing. There were no parts available. All the castings had to be made and all the fabrication work had to be done. With eleven pumps, it was quite an effort.”
By July 1, 2007, Fairbanks Morse designed, built, and delivered eleven propeller pumps: each weighed 85,000 pounds and required its own semi-trailer truck for delivery, and each pump featured a 72’ discharge and is capable of pumping 156,800 gallons of water per minute. “It was a seven-day-a-week project for us but we delivered,” said Wood.
The new propeller pumps added needed capacity to the city’s existing water infrastructure, which drains storm run-off from the city. Previously, the 17th Street Canal had eighteen installed pumps which moved approximately 3,600 cubic feet per second (CFS) of water. The new Fairbanks pumps added an additional 3,850 CFS (or 1,724,800 gallons per minute) capacity. This added capacity will support the safety of New Orleans during future hurricane seasons.
About Fairbanks Morse
Fairbanks Morse offers a broad range of products serving the municipal, commercial and industrial markets including large split case, vertical turbine and vertical turbine solids-handling (VTSH®) pumps, and vortex and propeller pumps. Past Fairbanks projects include pumps with diameters as large as 140 inches and with capacities of up to one million gallons per minute.
Robert Brown Associates Local Distributor for Fairbanks Morse Pumps
Robert Brown Associates, based in King of Prussia PA, is the authorized distributor for Fairbanks Morse Pump in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. To discuss an application, call T 610-3540-0200.