Water Transmission

Water transmission mains convey raw water to the treatment plant from various surface and underground sources. This includes rivers, lakes and surface reservoirs as well as underground aquifers. After it is treated, transmission mains carry water to storage reservoirs or to smaller-diameter distribution mains that carry water to commercial and residential users.

Water transmission mains are larger than the distribution mains to which they connect. Transmission mains, for example, can be thought of as interstate highways, whereas distribution mains would be smaller roads at the state and local levels. Transmission mains get the water to and immediately from the treatment plant; after treatment, distribution mains convey water to the customer.

It is estimated that the drinking water infrastructure in the United States includes more than 700,000 miles of piping. Most of that is iron pipe, and much of that was manufactured by AMERICAN, which has been a major supplier of iron pipe for more than 100 years. In addition, AMERICAN supplies spiral-welded steel pipe for transmission mains from 66 to 144 inches in diameter, and gate valves up to 66 inches in diameter.

AMERICAN pioneered a major improvement in the water transmission world in 1923 when the company developed cement-mortar lining for its iron pipe. Cement lining, coupled with the larger inside diameter of AMERICAN pipe (compared with comparably sized competing materials), facilitates the smooth flow of larger volumes of water, and prevents tuberculation, the buildup of minerals on the pipe wall that can clog a line like coronary artery disease can clog a blood vessel. That resulting full diameter and smooth flow reduces energy costs over the life of the pipeline. It also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the utility operations that produce electricity that drives the pumps that move the water.

The durability of AMERICAN’s ductile iron pipe allows it to withstand the rigors of installation, and its strength is superior to other materials when it comes to handling internal pressures and external loads. It is well established that once installed, AMERICAN ductile iron pipe lasts for generations – in fact, it is not unusual for iron pipe to perform for more than a hundred years.

For those who opt for steel transmission lines, AMERICAN provides spiral-welded steel pipe in diameters up to 144 inches. These very large transmission lines move vast amounts of water great distances. Some have likened them to underground rivers. Tape-wrapped on the outside, and cement-lined on the inside, these underground arteries provide years of dependable high performance.

AMERICAN manufactures gate valves up to 66 inches in diameter, which are popular selections for transmission lines in those sizes because they offer 250 psig bottle-tight closure and full port openings along with a variety of joint connections, including an exclusive boltless restrained joint in many common sizes.

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