Tackling Extreme Conditions in the Subsea

Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant

Tackling Extreme Conditions in the Subsea

Posted on March 23rd, 2022

Victaulic Brings Santa Barbara Desalination Facility Back Online in Record Time

  • 通过创新解决方案解决了海底管道缺失的挑战,该管道距离海岸 2500 英尺且位于水下 50 英尺
  • 该设施现在可满足整个城市30%的供水需求

在加利福尼亚各地严重干旱的背景下,圣巴巴拉市面临着一个极大的挑战:如何在紧迫的时间,有限的预算和环境的限制下,将其处于备用模式近 20 年的 Charles E. Meyer 海水淡化厂重新启动。

The project was further complicated by the discovery that an eight-foot section of the 36-inch subsea intake line, located 2,500 feet from the shore and under 50 feet of water, was missing. The pipe was removed when the plant was placed in standby mode in 1992.


Engineers and contractors first considered installing an unrestrained non-Victaulic coupling to rejoin the missing section, which would require anchoring it to the ocean floor to restrain the pulling forces created by the 80 pounds per square inch (PSI) underwater pumps. However, they decided against this approach because it would require concrete thrust blocks to be poured underwater in an environmentally sensitive area, which would add several weeks to the already tight schedule.

Experts turned to Victaulic for an ingenious solution: a grooved high density-polyethylene (HDPE) pipe with a specialized Style 908 coupling specifically designed to quickly join HDPE pipe and eliminate the need for fusing.

Until then, not many engineers had used a grooved HDPE pipe for abrasive intakes, especially at desalination plants, given the corrosive nature of abrasive on metal used in traditional joining methods. The Victaulic approach promised an ideal solution for the extreme, underwater environment. The products offered extreme durability – rugged enough to withstand the physically demanding operating conditions including corrosion risk. The products provided reliability for the life of the system, in this case 100 years. The benefits of greater durability and reliability were all gained while dramatically speeding installation times, an approach that was 10 times faster than other the alternative fusion weld.


To complete the entire installation underwater, Victaulic needed to repurpose its cut grooving (CG) tool so it could groove the pipe end after being submerged. Traditional Victaulic CG tools require electricity and electric motors to run, posing a significant challenge for the team since their target was 50 feet underwater. Victaulic retrofitted a CG3500 tool to run on a hydraulic motor with a hydraulic power unit located on top of the barge, making it the preferred choice to cut and groove the subsea pipes. Once they knew the CG3500 would operate and function properly underwater, Victaulic made additional enhancements to protect the tool from corrosive saltwater before commissioning it to complete the task.


下一个障碍是强大的洋流。由于洋流会将管端拉向不同的方向,专家们意识到要水下对准管端将极其困难。自对准式 908 型接头为此问题提供了快速而独特的解决方案,潜水员直接将两个管端插入该接头,拧紧螺母,完成外壳的螺栓座-螺栓座接触,并确信接头正确安装即可。洋流对安装管道的稳定性也构成了威胁。为了确保管道保持完好且无需维护,Victaulic(唯特利)使用超双相内置加固件的装配接头来加固管端。

能够承受长达 100 年的腐蚀性海水环境

在规划和开发的最后阶段,Victaulic(唯特利)及其工程合作伙伴必须确保设备在暴露于腐蚀性海水后能够保持其强度和耐用性。为了确保 908 型接头能够达到 100 年的水下使用寿命,他们将接头外壳涂上了熔结环氧树脂以消除腐蚀风险,并将 50 磅镀锌阳极固定在壳体上,以提供必要的阴极保护。

Total Installation Time: Two Hours


一名潜水员带着 CG3500 工具从驳船下潜到海底。管道在短短的 90 分钟内就成功完成开槽。接头在 30 分钟内安装完毕,总安装时间仅用了 2 小时。

Now operational, the facility has the capacity to produce three million gallons per day. This is equivalent to 3,125 acre-feet of water annually, or about 30 percent of the city’s water supply needs.

该项目也很好地诠释了为何 Victaulic(唯特利)是极端条件下项目的首选合作伙伴;同时也证明 HDPE 管道可以在创纪录的时间内,在海底环境中完成制备和安装。



Victaulic is the leading producer of mechanical pipe joining solutions. Engineered with confidence, our solutions put people to work faster, while increasing safety, ensuring reliability and maximizing efficiency.