The Steam Renewal Project will replace over 500 linear feet of condensate line at four sites, and nearly 300 feet has has already been replaced with the project.
The four sites brought a substantial amount of lost water and energy that will be resolved with the project. Recapturing and recycling heated steam condensate water cuts down on resource costs to reheat new steam to campus at the Energy Center.
Site 1 – Facilities Shops condensate return: A mostly disintegrated underground condensate line between FS shops and McAlexander Fieldhouse was noticed by the city, when their nearby water meter vault and fire hydrant were registering over 100 degrees F, above ground! The condensate line had to be replaced, so the FS shops heat could remain operational. The project replaced and re-plumbed the line overhead into the old heat plant, where it ties into an existing mainline that heads back across campus through the tunnel system to the Energy Center.
Site 2 – Cauthorn Hall/West Dining condensate return in Sackett Place: Another condensate line was discovered to be damaged, when it was found that superheated water was making its way into a nearby storm drain, creating steam that came out of manholes and catch basins nearby. Our project dug and repaired several leaks where we thought the issues were, but once uncovered, the problem ended up being much larger than anticipated (see photo of pipes with holes in them). The project trenched in Sackett Place down to Intramural Lane to replace the entirety of the damaged pipes. With the pipework complete, the project successfully mitigated substantial amounts of heated water entering the storm drain and eventual outfall to Oak Creek.
Site 3 – Benton Annex: Upcoming work will replace a failing condensate line through the lawn south of Benton Hall, which connects the Annex to the walking tunnel system.
Site 4 – Wiegand Hall: Upcoming work will address condensate leaks found just outside the mechanical room underground.
This project demonstrates how investment in our aging infrastructure is not only necessary to maintain reliable service to the campus community, but can also have a substantial positive impact on our environment by halting heat pollution into our streams and reducing natural gas and water consumption at our on-campus power and steam plant.