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Low Lake Level Pumping Station Well Drilling Project


The Project: Low Lake Level Pumping Station Well Drilling

📍Lake Mead, NV

The Challenge

EARTHRES was asked to provide engineering, consulting, design and fabrication support for multiple facets of a key part of the Lake Mead, NV, low lake level pumping station project. Able to pump water from just 875 ft. above sea level, the low lake level pumping station, planned completion 2020, will mitigate the effects of ongoing drought issues in the Southwest US by allowing the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) to pump water in extreme low lake level conditions. When lake levels are too low for regular pumping stations to operate, the low lake level pumping station will take over, serving 900 million gallons of water a day from this region’s primary water source.

Situated between fault lines, this project required thirty-four 72” in diameter well shafts for submersible pumps. Drilled adjacent to the lake at depths of 500 ft., these shafts will connect into a 12,500 sq. ft. excavated forebay at the base of the shaft. Mandating an extremely precise blind bore drilling method, and the chosen engineering firm could provide highly specialized, precision-engineered tools, equipment, and solutions.

The Solution

Originally slated to assist in the development and engineering of just a few tasks, the EARTHRES multi-disciplinary engineering team took great pride in their responsiveness and ability to deliver support to the client on the completion of an increased scope of 13 intricate tasks. These tasks included design of precision tooling for pilot hole drilling rigs, non‐conventional hydraulic sealing systems, design of concrete foundations for drilling operations, drill cuttings/material handling systems, steel structure design and analysis, electrical engineering and load system design verification, hydraulic lifting mechanisms, fabrication support, and a one‐off shaft survey system that was used to verify the accuracy and precision of the blind bore well shaft construction.

The revised scope included conceptualization, product design, on-site fabrication support and hands-on testing for each of the tasks. All of these projects were under strict guidelines, a tight timeframe and required expertise in a variety of engineering disciplines. Using state of the art software, EARTHRES rapidly produced accurate engineering documents and fabrication drawings. These models and analyses provided a firm foundation for EARTHRES to support the client’s fabrication team to build and test both prototypes and full-scale models of the tools and equipment specifically developed for the project.

EARTHRES provided field support during all project phases, including design verification of existing equipment, site visits verifying the pending design functionality, in‐shop prototype and full-scale field testing, and as‐built fabrication and design verification.

The Results

Provided extremely precise precision-engineered tools, equipment, and solutions for blind bore well drilling component of pumping station project. Upon project completion, this low lake level pumping station will provide SNWA to serve 900 million gallons of water a day to customers in the region.

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