By Sara Geer
Editor’s Note: For our first-ever “Chairman’s Choice” feature, we are proud to highlight two projects selected by Greg Stratis, president of Shea Concrete Products and newly elected NPCA Chairman of the Board. “Chairman’s Choice” will be an annual feature of Precast Inc. magazine.
Woodstock Inn Station and Brewery – North Woodstock, N.H.
Water is an essential ingredient for brewing beer – on average, it takes 296 gallons of water to make one gallon of beer (1). With the use of such a large volume of water comes an equally large volume of wastewater, and often the need for a system that can handle the extra wastewater intake.
Such was the case with the Woodstock Inn Station and Brewery in North Woodstock, N.H. Thanks to a significant increase in size, the brewery now distributes products throughout the eastern United States, with future plans to deliver nationally. But the brewery’s expansion caused its wastewater output to double, inundating the Woodstock Wastewater Treatment plant. The town had to remove the extra waste via trucks and started charging the brewery about $8,000 a month for the associated fees. Desperate to find a solution, Scott Rice, brewery owner, contacted Septic Preservation Services. The company worked with Shea Concrete Products, headquartered in Wilmington, Mass., to design and manufacture a precast concrete wastewater treatment system to fix the problem.
A phenomenal solution
Jim Boucher, regional operations manager of Septic Preservation Services, said the company is often contacted to assist in emergency situations like this one.
“There are microbreweries popping up everywhere and many don’t take into account wastewater,” he said. “What happens is they start on a septic system, but in a short time kill it. It’s becoming a big part of our business.”
The company typically works with a local precaster to design a system that cleans up waste and establishes a particular waste strength level and pH level as designated by the city and state. For Woodstock Inn Station and Brewery, the solution was three 10,000-gallon precast tanks. The tanks store waste so bacteria can clean the water before it enters the wastewater treatment plant. According to Boucher, Shea Concrete helped design and build the custom tanks in a way that had never been done before.
“These tanks needed to be installed at different elevations, which is a very difficult thing to do and get done right,” he said. “But Shea Concrete Products was able to cast the outlet elevations within the tanks so we could excavate a flat, large hole and place these all at the same level.
“I’ve never seen it done this way before and it worked out phenomenally. I don’t think I’ll do this any other way now.”
Jerry Mailloux, operations manager of Shea Concrete’s plant in Nottingham, N.H., said the design department had limited information at the start, but worked closely with Boucher and the contractor, Rex Caulder of Caulder Construction LLC, to make the final plans for the system.
Manufacturing the precast products took less than two weeks. The tanks are 10 feet long, 17 feet wide and 12 feet high. They consist of 15 different pieces that needed to be modified for the project requirements.
Caulder was an existing customer and knew Shea Concrete could deliver all products on time, preventing unnecessary costs such as having the crane on site for an extended period. The project was completed within a week between the brewery’s two busiest weekends – Labor Day and the start of the Highland Games at Loon Mountain Resort.
“Shea Concrete transported all the of the pieces to the site,” Mailloux said. “The crane was ready at 8 a.m. and the last truck left at 11:30 a.m. with the tanks fully assembled. The trucks were staged at a New Hampshire Department of Transportation wayside area and were dispatched to the site as one was unloaded.”
Caulder said Shea Concrete was a tremendous partner for the project.
“They were right there when they said they would be – no waiting,” he said. “Precast concrete is the way to go. It takes up less room than a fiberglass tank and is easy and accessible for inspection.”
Endicott College – Beverly, Mass.
Precast Goes to College
While many students at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass., enjoyed a relaxing vacation, local contractors completed a drainage upgrade for the campus before classes resumed in the fall.
Tim Wilson, estimator at Shea Concrete, said D&M Civil partnered with Shea Concrete based on price and availability. The stormwater system required 8-foot and 10-foot I.D. manholes for the 36-inch and 48-inch pipe interconnections, which is unusual work for most precasters in the area.
“They were looking to get all of the structures on site within a couple of weeks,” Wilson said. “In a slow time of the year, that would not have been a problem, but the summer is very busy for us. We had to get the structures manufactured in a crowded schedule.”
Shea Concrete adjusted its production schedule to accommodate the project and delivered the precast products on time. Wilson said management is always looking for ways to improve standard product lines, and when jobs specify larger structures, they often fit the job requirements into products already in stock. But in some cases – like on this project – there is not enough room in the plant to pour large structures, requiring a custom build.
“Typically, 5- and 6-foot diameter manhole material is in stock and we can just core holes in the structures, do a bunch and send them all at once,” he said. “But due to the large holes required, we had to pour them individually. They were also in a rush for them, so we had to get the submittals done and products shipped right away.”
All precast concrete products required for the project were manufactured within three weeks. The largest manhole structure was used for overflow and weighed more than 18 tons. Wilson said manufacturing went smoothly and the production staff stayed on schedule.
Ralph Meola Jr., director of operations at D&M Civil, said Shea Concrete will set structures when possible and that the two companies have a great relationship. For this project, a crane was on site to set the larger precast structures. Meola was very pleased with the project from start to finish.
““This particular job was very fast-paced,” he said. “From the beginning to the end of the project, in every phase of the project, Shea Concrete Products has done a great job. We’re working at speeds and a pace that you have to keep up with, so it’s a lot of work, and they are a great partner to work with.”
To learn more about Shea Concrete Products, visit sheaconcrete.com.
Sara Geer is NPCA’s internal communication and web manager, and is managing editor of Precast Inc.