We had the project that needed to collect most of the water onsite in Palos Verdes Estates to prevent the erosion of the cliff leading to the ocean.
Lately we have been specing out pumps more frequently with the changes involved in drainage from city to city. This job site was something else. It turns out that the storm drain that leads directly to the ocean was installed at the top of the street with a straight shot down to the water. Looking at the original storm drain plans showed a pipe that would be under more than 200 feet of earth at the bottom of the outlet. The trick to this project was could we find the existing pipe and drain directly into the pipe. After much consideration we realized trying to locate the pipe where we could connect might mean excavating more than 30 feet of dirt. The next problem was the horizontal control of the pipe wasn’t clear according to property line and easements on the site we were working on.
So out came the idea of using a pump to drain the Palos Verdes single family residence to the street which would then collect into the street catch basin and go out into the ocean. After checking our calculations many times we came up with the pump sizing along with the pump’s pit dimensions. The next obstacle in the way was having such a deep pit built.
I am proud to say the builder on this job did what Wilson called extreme engineering after we visited the site in the different stages of digging. Not only did Vince Devico of DC construction build something very complicated, but everything was done right. I am still in awe of this particular site because of the difficult conditions to place an 18 foot deep pump system. We didn’t get a chance to be there for the pit installation but I understand everyone on the street came out for the event. Did I mention they were not only dodging known pipes but kept coming across other utilities that were either on or abandoned, and I can’t forget about the tree in the way of the outlet.
Most of our past jobs have been pretty straight forward, but with the new drainage codes in most of the cities we are working in, I foresee much more building that will encounter such obstacles as this project.