Emergency Bypass Saves City Millions in Potential Damage and Fines


During the construction of a new bridge, a treatment plant’s 36” effluent pipeline was damaged by sheet piles, resulting in an overflow that eroded the base of a bridge and threatened to wash away the structure, potentially costing millions. The overflow also threatened to violate Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Railroad Commission policies that could have resulted in heavy fines and penalties. A 23 MGD bypass system was requested to handle the flow so that emergency repairs could be made.


Soon after Hurricane Harvey, the local Rain for Rent team in Corpus Christi worked tirelessly with minimal staffing and equipment to install a working, temporary bypass. Once the temporary system was in place, Rain for Rent, the Water Treatment Plant, and the City Inspector discussed a more robust design with increased capacity. With significant assistance from an HDPE fusion team out of the San Antonio branch, Rain for Rent installed two 18” and two 12” pumps with a common discharge of 18” HDPE that passed through a road crossing bridge. The pipe was then manifold into two 12” HDPE and two 8” layflat discharge hoses in order to cross under railroad tracks at two locations through a series of culverts. Due to an 8’ standpipe at the suction point, HDPE stingers were equipped with prime assist lift hose and clamps to maintain suction. The system, designed to handle up to 23,000 GPM or 33 MGD, ran as planned for the duration of the two month repair project, with 24-hour pump watch provided by Rain for Rent.


  • The pipe damage occurred right as Hurricane Harvey was churning inland, 60 miles to the North. The deluge of rain from the storm threatened to worsen prospective fines associated with flooding.
  • If the emergency repair project would have encountered delays, the effluent overflow would have entered into a nearby open drainage system and created excessive water levels at the water treatment plant (the final collection point for the waste water collected citywide) which could have resulted in TCEQ and excessive-discharge fines.
  • The location of the bypass was adjacent to Texas Railroad Commission property which restricted access for installation and required that two railroad crossings be skillfully navigated in order to reach the outfall point.


The Pipeline Contractor and the City were very impressed with the capacity, layout, priming system and road crossings provided by Rain for Rent. The Pipeline Contractor’s President said, “Rain for Rent overcame serious obstacles in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey to earn our trust and help us make a lasting impression for our client, the City of Corpus Christi.”

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