EMCO Waterworks and Victaulic – Partners in Providing Piping Solutions

By Rhys Jardine, Kimberly Lee, and Leo Mantler

Bonnybrook ‘Plant D’

Bonnybrook, the City of Calgary’s largest wastewater treatment plant, is actively upgrading its facilities to accommodate growing needs in the region. Designed to increase capacity, a Bonnybrook Expansion Program with a construction value of $500M was implemented, the largest portion being a ‘Plant D’ expansion project that includes new primary and secondary treatment facilities.

Construction of Phase One commenced at the start of 2018. The mechanical contract was awarded to contractor Balzer’s Canada Inc., with an estimated completion by mid-year 2020. A key component of the expansion was the construction of new valve chambers, along with installation of the supporting piping infrastructure to handle activated sludge coming from clarifier pools. These systems required piping ranging in size from 4”/DN100 to 48”/DN1200, some of which would be direct-buried based on engineering requirements. Facing a compressed schedule, the contractor desired a piping solution that would not only be fast and efficient, but also allow for optimal accommodation where space constraints made some traditional welded and flanged solutions difficult to implement. This is where EMCO Waterworks and Victaulic partnered up to provide a piping system solution for a recurring construction challenge the industry faces today.


The Victaulic Advanced Groove System (AGS) product line of couplings and valves were selected for this application and installed over traditional methods and bolted sleeve type couplings. Utilizing a patented, wedge shape groove the Victaulic AGS system features a working pressure up to 350psi/2400kPa. AGS couplings with a two-piece housing design make handling, installation and maintenance up to 50% faster than competing systems. Over two hundred grooved-end Victaulic Butterfly Valves were also supplied for the valve chambers in two sizes. AGS Vic-300 valves were supplied in 24”/DN600 size and W719 C504 compliant valves for 42”/DN1050 size. The Victaulic valve offering proved to be a superior alternative to multi-bolt wafer or lug-type flanged valves given their reduced footprint and lighter weight. This was especially important in the five valve chambers, where space was extremely tight and installation of a flanged system was impractical. 

In addition to the large diameter coupling and valve solutions, Victaulic supplied a full valve package up to 14”/DN350 that included butterfly, fully ported plug, ball and check valves. Solutions also included Victaulic Vic-Press for ½ – 2” Schedule 10 stainless steel systems, and two Victaulic Series 920 pressure reducing control valves in 6” and 10” sizes. Throughout the project EMCO Waterworks and Victaulic worked in partnership to ensure on-time delivery of products, enabling Balzer’s to install immediately and remain on schedule. As a result, Balzer’s could better accommodate the civil construction work being done by Graham Construction. 


Feeder Main Projects

EMCO Waterworks and Victaulic have also partnered to provide solutions for numerous feeder main projects in the city. Style 44 Vic-Ring couplings had been an approved solution for the City of Calgary for years to facilitate ease of ongoing maintenance. 

Moving forward, the city is proceeding with approval of the Victaulic Advanced Groove System (AGS) for large diameter piping connections in valve chambers. The fastest and most reliable mechanical pipe joining system for pipe 14’’ and above, the Victaulic AGS system delivers a combination of speed and performance desired by contractors and engineers respectively. The AGS system features both rigid and flexible couplings along with butterfly valves, available in sizes from 14 – 60” / DN350 – DN1500.

AGS couplings, with only two housings, make for simplified system installation and visual verification of a correctly installed joint by simple visual verification of pad-to-pad contact. The AGS Series W719 butterfly valves are designed and tested to conform to the requirements of AWWA C504 with pressure classes conforming to AWWA Class 250B to 48” /DN1200 and 150B for 48”/DN1200 and above. Half the weight of a flanged valve, the Victaulic solution allows for a faster and easier installation.

As labor rates and equipment time continue to increase in cost, the time savings available with the Victaulic systems provide a ready solution to help control construction costs.