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Piping Solution Withstands Heat in Flood Disaster

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University, Utility Tunnel
Products Used
Blue Pipe®
Location / Date
Nashville, TN
June 2008

Aquatherm Advantages

  • Initially saved time on labor, then withstood high heat and flood waters
  • Exceptional joint integrity
  • Corrosion resistance in a challenging environment

The Challenge

In the damp environment of a utility tunnel, the V.U. staff had experienced problems with corrosion of metal pipes.

The Solution

Aquatherm not only held up to the normal wear and tear of the subterranean environment, but remained intact despite 380°F steam lines in the flooded tunnel.

Installed in 2008 for its durability in a utility tunnel, Aquatherm's polypropylene-random piping didn't melt or leak despite being submerged along with 380 °F steam during a huge flood in May 2010.

In early May, record-breaking flash floods in Tennessee, Mississippi,and Kentucky killed dozens of people and destroyed homes and businesses throughout the region. Nashville was hit particularly hard, and several businesses and institutions (such as the storied Grand Ole Opry, which was forced to reschedule events at various venues around Music City) were devastated.

While the Cumberland River, which reached a 70-year high — 12 feet above flood stage — slowly receded, facility managers struggled to repair damages and remove flood waters from their properties. Tim Cook, special equipment repair lead technician with Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and his staff were faced with the dilemma of trying to deal with a flooded 5,000-foot-long V-shaped utility tunnel.