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View Full Version : Clam shells plugging valves


Currier
04-11-2007, 03:43 PM
We do the property maintenance for a new HOA. The current contractor, a housing developer, has had a heck of a problem with small clams getting into the main line and messing up the valves (irrigation water fed from a subdivision pond). They claim to have to dismantle and clean out at least 2 or 3 valves per day.

My problem is: We will be assuming maintenance of the irrigation upon the developers conclusion of responsibilities to the subdivision.

Anybody have any thoughts on how to fix the problem?

londonrain
04-11-2007, 05:13 PM
A filter would be first on my list....

Mike Leary
04-11-2007, 05:17 PM
Clams go good with garlic & red wine.

gusbuster
04-11-2007, 08:12 PM
Clams in Colorado? Did nobody catch where the original poster is from?

Back to the question...first problem, the intake was placed too close to the bottom of pond, therefore, if these are fossilized clams that are coming up from the silt, they get sucked in.

The easiest way would to install a filter on the main line ,something that would be easy to service, just like they do in the drip systems for the Almond orchards here in Ca.

Clams in CO?

Wet_Boots
04-11-2007, 09:00 PM
Mutant Clams escape from Rocky Flats? Didn't that play on a twin bill with Plan Nine From Outer Space?

bicmudpuppy
04-11-2007, 09:07 PM
Clam shells means fresh water mussels to me. Zebra mussels have been a major headache for some. I was told that shells had been found in the irrigation system here. I haven't found it to be a problem yet, but I have only moved my first million gallons back in March. Haven't moved any water in April. A good spin down filter should stop any shells. Zebra mussels LOVE irrigation intakes.

Mike Leary
04-11-2007, 09:53 PM
Clam shells means fresh water mussels to me. Zebra mussels have been a major headache for some. I was told that shells had been found in the irrigation system here. I haven't found it to be a problem yet, but I have only moved my first million gallons back in March. Haven't moved any water in April. A good spin down filter should stop any shells. Zebra mussels LOVE irrigation intakes.

Sounds like sprinkler guys LOVE mussels! I know they plug inlets, but do
the little dears get upstream & trash everything else & bypass scrubber valves?

PurpHaze
04-11-2007, 10:39 PM
Clams in Colorado?

I knew they have crabs there... and their lobster is often on special at the local seafood market. :laugh:

PurpHaze
04-11-2007, 10:49 PM
I thought SheShovel lived in Cali?

LOL... I was referring to the Colorado Crabapples. :laugh:

You still down around Mouse House or back home?

Dirty Water
04-11-2007, 11:05 PM
I'm down in Anaheim. We received a promo package for this trip, and its been pretty crappy, but you can't beat free.

I fly back tommorow night, not sure what we will do tommorow since our flight is at 6:00 but checkout is at 11. I don't want to haul a suitcase around all day.

bicmudpuppy
04-12-2007, 02:34 PM
I'm down in Anaheim. We received a promo package for this trip, and its been pretty crappy, but you can't beat free.

I fly back tommorow night, not sure what we will do tommorow since our flight is at 6:00 but checkout is at 11. I don't want to haul a suitcase around all day.

Catch the airport shuttle out, check your bags and go from there. Just make sure your back in time to ride with your bags home :)

Currier
04-12-2007, 03:48 PM
Thanks for the responses. I will plan on installing mainline filter(s) if they are not all ready in place and hope that solves the problem. All I know is that the contractor has fought quite a battle with the little suckers. I plan on notifying the HOA about the "exsiting problem" before they allow the contractor to sign off.

mverick
04-12-2007, 04:14 PM
Thanks for the responses. I will plan on installing mainline filter(s) if they are not all ready in place and hope that solves the problem. All I know is that the contractor has fought quite a battle with the little suckers. I plan on notifying the HOA about the "exsiting problem" before they allow the contractor to sign off.

How deep is the water intake? How deep is the pond? Can you get to the intake? Do you know lock out tag out procedures? Do you know how to blind and blank lines properly? Know what DAN or NOAA is?

Call a dive crew in. $75 hr per diver, 2 divers minimum. Usually on a job like this you're looking at $2000 to $5000 to work a fix for the problem. Without seeing it, I can't tell ya.

Yea, I do underwater construction and fixes. This happens all the time. Lot of Golf Courses have this problem. But, it is dangerous work. If you get sucked into the intake your toast. And, the pump doesn't have to turn on to do it. And, yes, even on small lines. There is a lot of water in a retention pond to push through that pipe.

Be extremely carefull. This is a no joke dangerous job to fix.

And, if it's what I think it is those filter will just clock with the clams. And clog the line up behind it. That's what we always find. There is a fix though.

mverick
04-12-2007, 04:20 PM
Sounds like sprinkler guys LOVE mussels! I know they plug inlets, but do
the little dears get upstream & trash everything else & bypass scrubber valves?

If they get by the valves they block your sprinkler heads. Not the best on hitting the impellers either if it's plastic. And can deteriorate the metal impellers also.

Mike Leary
04-12-2007, 05:02 PM
If they get by the valves they block your sprinkler heads. Not the best on hitting the impellers either if it's plastic. And can deteriorate the metal impellers also.

Thanks for the info, sounds serious for you guys..are these the "zebra
mussels" that they get in the Great Lakes, or another "import pest?".

mverick
04-12-2007, 05:19 PM
Thanks for the info, sounds serious for you guys..are these the "zebra
mussels" that they get in the Great Lakes, or another "import pest?".

Zebras will bond onto pipes and onto piling and onto anything. If they are getting sucked in they are more then likely fresh water mussels. I've seen them block a 10in line into pumps. Usually at the valve. Fixed one in the winter last year. Water was 32 degrees right at freezing and golf course was trying to close valve to the pump and blow out lines to keep from destroying the pump and lines. Couldn't do it. So, we got the call. The valve was a cast iron gate valve and weighed around 3000lbs. Buried under 8 feet of dirt so it wouldn't freeze behind it. Valve had to be dug out and rebuilt and we re worked the intake so it wouldn't happen again.

Cold to dive in but with drysuits it isn't usually bad. But I forgot my hood:hammerhead: So about froze. But, good money.:dancing:

Pulled a couple large boats out in the Ozarks too after the storms. 2 boats were $5000 and 2 others $7500 and I went home cause I had other jobs to do. LOL... Nice for 3 day's work though. Boats were worth around $150000 to $500,000.

EXTREMELY dangerous work though. It does weed out the low ballers though. Boat comes crashing down on you underwater, you die. Intake sucks part of you into it, you die.

Mike Leary
04-12-2007, 06:06 PM
EXTREMELY dangerous work though. It does weed out the low ballers though. Boat comes crashing down on you underwater, you die. Intake sucks part of you into it, you die.

I bet you don't eat too many mollusk dishes....good luck.

gusbuster
04-12-2007, 08:37 PM
EXTREMELY dangerous work though. It does weed out the low ballers though. Boat comes crashing down on you underwater, you die. Intake sucks part of you into it, you die.
Just a couple months ago, near the City of Los Banos, 2 state water resources divers drowned because they got caught up in the intakes and ran out of air while servicing the screens for the pumps for the California aqueduct.

Don't take proper precautions and like you said, you're a goner. It was 2 pumps, still don't see why they didn't shut down one pump, service the screen and then switch to the other.

Currier
04-12-2007, 11:32 PM
I surely do appreciate this info. I've done lots installs and considerable repair/maintenance work but it sounds to me that this is not to be fooled with.

It is a subdivision with 88 homes and probably only about 5 acres of grass/common areas. I haven't been brought up to speed on the particulars of the system I'm just cautious because I can bet the GC would love to sign this over and slip away. My thinking is It aint in proper working condition until this situation is fixed.

Mainly I'd like some info that I can share with the HOA board that indicates that this is a significant problem that needs to be documented and fixed by the original installer.

Thanks Again!

mverick
04-13-2007, 05:57 AM
Just a couple months ago, near the City of Los Banos, 2 state water resources divers drowned because they got caught up in the intakes and ran out of air while servicing the screens for the pumps for the California aqueduct.

Don't take proper precautions and like you said, you're a goner. It was 2 pumps, still don't see why they didn't shut down one pump, service the screen and then switch to the other.

It's not that easy.

Ameren UE diver in a Turbine. Went in to do some maint. They openened the man hole and looked in. Water looked calm. They had there locks on and everything blanked. Diver put his lock on what they told him to. Diver went in the water and once under they couldn't hold the rope it was pulling so hard. They blanked and locked out the wrong pump. Surface water didn't give any indication. Guy hit turbine and nothing left.

If you ain't sure. Shut the whole thing down.

Cruise ships have water inlets that will suck your arm off... Yep, it happened before. A small leak in a tank fixing it from the inside and you can get pinned to the side of the tank. You're the plug.