Case Study: Strength to Weight Ratio Leads to Savings on Installation, Maintenance, and Operation Costs

0578-Hometown WT structures Main0578-Hometown WT structures DetailFiberglass ladders, handrails, beams, and walkways were used in the solids separator platform at the North Putnam Wastewater Treatment Facility. The wastewater treatment facility is located in the city of Hometown, West Virginia and services over 11,000 business and residential customers. The fiberglass materials were cost effective and require little maintenance compared to traditional materials.

The Putnam Facility chose fiberglass versus galvanized metal because of the corrosive environment, reduction of labor, ease of installation, and low maintenance life cycle costs. GEF Incorporated fabricated the structure using EXTREN® fiberglass structural shapes, DURADEK® fiberglass grating (currently DURAGRID®) and SAFRAIL™ handrail.

Product: Water Treatment Structure, Walkways
Process: Pultrusion, Fiberglass Fabrication
Materials & Sizes:

  • EXTREN® 12" Beams - 525 series fiberglass reinforced polyester, fire retardant
  • DURADEK® I-6000 grating and stair treads (currently DURAGRID®)
  • SAFRAIL™ handrail
For: North Putnam Wastewater Treatment
Hometown, WV
Fabricated By: GEF Incorporated

Ryan Wallenberg, spokesman for the project, stated that it took about three and half days for two individuals to install this platform. If they had used galvanized steel it would have required three people to install it over a week and a half time period. Due to the lightweight nature of fiberglass, skilled installers were able to physically handle the individual pieces during assembly, eliminating the need for heavy tools. This factor and speed of erection were beneficial and cost effective for the community owned and operated facility.

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