Butte-Silver Bow Water Main Replacement Program

Pioneer completed the design of over 216,000 lineal feet (41 miles) of water distribution system renewals and extensions for the Butte-Silver Bow Water Utility Division from 1999 to 2010, totaling more than $20M. Pioneer worked closely with Butte-Silver Bow Water Utility Division staff to evaluate and prioritize water main improvements based on leak records and hydraulically deficient areas in Butte. The design for these improvements included water main and service line replacements on some of the busiest and most problematic streets in Butte, including Harrison Avenue and Park Street. The work required extensive coordination with a variety of utility owners, including NorthWestern Energy, Qwest, Bresnan Communications, the sanitary and storm sewer utilities, multiple railroads, and the Montana Department of Transportation. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has approved all of these improvements.

Pioneer provided bid-phase services, contract administration and management, and construction oversight and documentation for the water main that was successfully replaced. This project has led to an intimate understanding of the storage and distribution system in Butte. Modeling of the distribution system, required by Montana Department of Environmental Quality for replacement and extension projects, has helped us to identify potential problem areas and options for addressing low flow or pressure areas, as well as areas with too high of pressures. Pressures in the Butte system are notoriously high, which exacerbates leaks and likely leads to increased repair costs. Pioneer has successfully and consistently completed this project for less than 10% of the total construction costs.