October 2020 Vol. 75 No. 10

Companies in the News

Companies in the News



The Plastics Pipe Institute Inc. (PPI) released a new, free, software tool that aids in determining the most appropriate wall thickness of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) conduit to be installed using horizontal directional drilling (HDD) techniques.

Published on PPI’s website, plasticpipe.org, or conduitcalc.com, the Conduit Design Calculator (CDC) offers an easy-to-use online application that automates the mini-HDD calculations pioneered by Dr. Larry Slavin and described in PPI TR-46.

Using inputs, such as directional changes in the underground bore path, drill rod diameter, bore depth and length, the CDC determines the calculated tensile load on the selected HDPE conduit, as compared to its allowable safe pull strength.

CDC users have the options of HDPE conduit manufactured from standard- or higher-strength HDPE resin. Users then select the conduit diameter and wall thickness type from a menu with three, pre-loaded sizing systems: IPS, SIDR, and True-Size. All conduit dimensions and properties are in accordance with industry standards, such as ASTM F2160, NEMA TC 7, and UL 651A.

After the details are entered, calculations take two-to-three minutes in most cases, to show the Safety Factor for the selected wall type and potential alternatives. A Safety Factor greater than 1.0 indicates tensile strength is sufficient to meet the calculated tensile forces for the given installation.

HDPE conduit, also known as PE conduit, is the preferred material to house and protect power, telecommunications and other underground utilities, and is widely installed via trenching, horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and plowing installation methods.




Austin Water selected Aclara, a leading supplier of smart infrastructure solutions to utilities around the world, to provide and implement a landmark, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) program.

Aclara’s fully integrated, end-to-end AMI solution will replace Austin Water’s current meters and manual meter-reading system across three counties in the greater Austin area, comprising 265,000 residential and commercial meters.

The AMI infrastructure will be built on the Aclara RF network technology, which provides redundant, reliable and high-performance, two-way communications between data collectors and endpoints. In addition, Austin Water elected to deploy the Aclara Owned Network managed service solution, to design, install and operate the city’s communication network.


CASE Construction Equipment


CASE Construction Equipment donated a skid steer to Wichita Habitat for Humanity, expanding the manufacturer’s relationship with the international non-profit organization dedicated to improving lives through affordable home ownership.

“This incredibly versatile machine will add efficiency and safety and help meet many of the special challenges we face when working on urban infill lots in Wichita,” said Ann Fox, executive director, Wichita Habitat for Humanity.

“In the past, large groups of volunteers would be assembled to do this work, or equipment was loaned or rented – adding complexity to scheduling,” she added

That changed in the COVID-19 era, however. Teams are limited to 10 people, slowing down the construction cycle.

The donated CASE skid steer was a great solution. By taking “some of the heavy lifting off the shoulders of volunteers,” explained Leandro Lecheta, head of construction equipment-North America, at CASE, they got “more done in a day, and put even more families back on the path of home ownership.”




Pipe Ramming, MOP 115, Second Edition, by American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), details the latest and best practices for designing and constructing road and railroad crossings using pipe ramming technologies.

Divided into seven sections, the book is based on case studies, workshops, project reviews, technical papers, and other information contributed by industry experts. Part 1 includes an introduction, history, recent innovations, applicable documents, typical applications, and a glossary of terms.

Parts 2 through 5 cover the planning and design, preconstruction, materials, and construction phases. Part 6 presents several case studies, and Part 7 contains a list of references.

MOP 115, Second Edition, will be valuable to both new and experienced engineers, as well as utility owners, contractors, and other industry professionals, to support safe, cost-effective and efficient application of the pipe ramming method.


Common Ground Alliance


Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the organization dedicated to protecting underground infrastructure, welcomed Crown Castle, the nation’s largest provider of shared communications infrastructure, as its newest platinum member.

Crown Castle will work in partnership with 240 other member companies to advance education and policymaking initiatives that protect underground infrastructure and the people working on them, at the local and national levels. CGA provides a forum for coordination across industries that will allow Crown Castle to share best practices in preventing damage to communications infrastructure and to enhance the company’s high standards for protecting utilities.

“We’re proud to welcome Crown Castle as CGA’s newest member,” said Sarah K. Magruder Lyle, president and CEO. “Communications infrastructure is an increasingly critical component of our lives and, as our need for connectivity continues to expand, companies like Crown Castle will help ensure that this growth is done with safety in mind for existing underground infrastructure.”


Thales Water Advisors


Three water industry experts launched Thales Water Advisors, a new strategy and finance consultancy that helps clients navigate the complex water industry.

Leveraging decades of experience in water technology, operations, finance and strategy, Thales provides current, comprehensive intelligence to empower its clients’ decision making. The team’s expansive network of industry experts and proprietary insights on technical and market trends assist clients through product strategy, technical due diligence, technical advisory, investment strategy, market assessment, and M&A strategy and support.

“Between the founding partners, we know most water industry leaders and have worked with the largest water companies at the C-suite level,” said David Rose, founder, who previously founded H2O Insights, and was senior vice president of Wedbush Securities and Jefferies & Co.

The new firm believes multi-disciplinary approaches are key to success.

“It’s not about just having the best technology,” commented co-founder Dr. Rafael Simon, former COO at ZENON Environmental and lead water industry partner at VantagePoint Capital Partners. “Building successful strategies is about the intersection between market trends, unique capabilities, access to customers, and differentiated technologies.

Thales also believes the best results start with proprietary insights formed through decades of experience.

“While we’ve known each other and worked together for years, we feel we are much stronger joining forces in a single firm,” said co-founder,
Dr. Terry Mah, former CEO of Veolia North America and COO of Veolia Water Technologies.


Hobas Pipe USA Celebrates Safety Milestone

Hobas Pipe USA achieved an impressive milestone: 1,000 days without a lost-time accident (LTA). Officially marked on April 30, the accomplishment is even more significant not only for occurring during a time of high production and shipments, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well.

The company celebrated its record – and continuing no-LTA trend – in-spirit, at the end of June, with an in-person event planned for the future.

“We are very proud of our Hobas Pipe USA team for their dedication to preserving a safe and healthy work environment,” said Juan Gutierrez, manager-Health, Safety and Environmental.

As team effort, credit goes to an emphasis and desire to work together safely each and every day. Tools that support this include frequent safety meetings and pre-task planning to help ensure clear understanding and care around the potential hazards on the job.

“This is a huge accomplishment for our family here at Hobas,” Gutierrez added. “Thank you to the entire Hobas team. Their commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment is why we are proud to say, ‘Safely Made in the USA.’ ”


Hobas Pipe USA, (800) 856-7473, hobaspipe.com

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