Drew L. Wilson
A Boy Scout camp nestled on the side of a mountain in Southeastern Oklahoma needed more water. Camp Tom Hale has recently become the premier Boy Scouts of America camping facility in the tri-state area of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, serving over 600 scouts a week. The increase of scouts has amplified water needs and the 2" main line that feeds the camp is insufficient. The main line is composed of almost four miles of PVC and runs through the most rugged terrain Oklahoma has to offer in the Kiamichi Mountains of the Ouachita National Forest. To replace the line would put the finishing touch on a project that was pioneered two years earlier.
A total polyethylene pipe water and wastewater distribution system was constructed for the scout camp in May of 1999. This increased the number of scouts able to attend the camp and put a strain on the 2" main. McElroy Manufacturing, Inc. and Horizon Engineering of Tulsa, Cooper Wholesale of Pryor, H. Armstrong of Talahina and Fred Hardesty of Poteau OK, constructed the state-of-the-art system that encompasses some 3.5 miles of 4" and 6" PE pipe. The system not only encircles and ties together the camp facilities; it also serves as an underground storage system for the camp's water supply.
The original project is an excellent model for municipalities seeking PE piping systems. Using PE for the system was the solution for this largely volunteered project because of installation ease, and the longer life expectancy of PE insures the camp a water system for many generations of scouts to come.
Now that the camp had a totally sealed, PE piping system, it only made sense to use PE for the 4" main that would traverse and snake through 3.6 miles of dense hardwoods and pine, across creeks and over mountains on its way to tie in to the county main.THE OPERATION
"This project is a perfect example of why Polyethylene is superior to any other method," said Silkey. "PE always seems to be the material of choice when there is a very tough job to do. The other materials get the easy jobs that don't put much strain on the pipe during the initial installation," Silkey explains. "Many times special backfill is needed around joints to protect the joint. For this project it was not necessary because the butt-fused joints associated with PE are as strong as the pipe itself. Some people don't realize that over the life of the pipeline, the same kinds of tremendous forces that are applied to the pipe during the installation also occur after it is put into the ground. When the earth shifts around, collars and joints that are used in conventional piping systems start to leak. That doesn't happen with PE"DEER TRAIL
"Were excited about the continued growth of the camp," said Lloyd Hasty, Camp Director. "We have grown from 400 scouts to 4,800 in the last four years and the camp has already booked 5,400 scouts for 2002." Camp Tom Hale is an excellent example of what the Boy Scouts of America was started for back in 1910. The camp has the ability to touch more lives now and achieve the purpose of the Boy Scouts which is; to provide an educational program for boys and young adults to build character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to develop personal fitness. Not a bad purpose.
SOURCE: McElroy Manufacturing, Inc.