Empipe Lining Solutions to the Rescue at the Palace of Purification

RC Harris water treatment plant in TorontoThe RC Harris Water Treatment Plant, located on Queen Street East in Toronto, Ontario, cleans, disinfects and converts Lake Ontario water into potable water for the City of Toronto’s distribution system.  Operating 365 days a year, it handles roughly 460 million litres of water every day, amounting to some 45% of the water supply for Toronto and York Region.

Construction began in 1932 and the facility was commissioned in November 1941.  

This is no ordinary water treatment plant.  The facility, sometimes referred to as the “Palace of Purification”, was named for Rowland Caldwell Harris, Commissioner of Works from 1912 to 1945.   Mr. Harris was renowned for his sense of the aesthetic and had his architect, Thomas Canfield Pomphrey, design a masterpiece in brick, limestone and copper in the art deco style.  Michael Ondaatje writes, “He modeled its entrance on a Byzantine city gate, and the inside of the building would be an image of the ideal city” with its marble floors and rounded arches. 

The Canadian Society for Civil Engineering named the RC Harris Water Treatment Plant a historic civil engineering site in 1992, and in June 1998 it was designated a Heritage Property.

Needless to say, when several of the stacks were leaking, breaking open walls or disturbing any of the infrastructure to repair them was entirely out of the question.  The problem was how to line these vertical stacks with a structural product. The solution was the Formadrain system of repair.

The Formadrain licensee, Empipe Lining Solutions, had a number of obstacles that they overcame with great success.  

Because the ground does not support the pipe, lining a vertical stack is a precision procedure.  The installation was done through a cleanout, something many other systems do not have the capability of.  The cleanouts were located in the building attic, well above street level. Because the attic had no windows, hoses were run through another stack from the roof and then attached to the bladder inside the stack being repaired.  

The bladder was first inflated with air.  This step was necessary because in a vertical application, gravity can cause the heated resin to flow and sag down the liner and put it out of position.  Inflating the bladder with air first ensured a successful steam cure.

Added to the other challenges was the hot working environment.  The outside temperature was more than 90 degrees F and working quickly was crucial.  But Formadrain’s four-hour working time resin and the marvel of Formadrain’s totally predictable steam curing process gave the contractor absolute control of the work from the start to the successful completion of this important job.

Download a free info pack or contact Bruce Stevenson, Business Development Manager, at 1-888-450-3986 or Bruce@formadrain.com to find out more about Formadrain’s premier system of no-dig pipe rehabilitation.