E.P. Doyle & Son
Senior Project Manager
In 2010, E.P. Doyle & Son in Wheaton, IL, was called upon for a dewatering job for a mitigation and renovation project at Northside Park.
Over the years, a lake at the park had silted up. “The ultimate goal of the project was to restore the park to the original condition when it was built back in the 1930s,” says Russell Wennerstrom, senior project manager for E.P. Doyle & Son. “It was a restoration of the existing lake, and there were added amenities, including bridges, natural vegetation, fishing docks, and water-control structures.”
The company used Dam-It Dams for the project.
“We had various existing water level depths, and it fluctuated quite a bit based on rainfall,” he adds. “Dam-It Dams helped us select the right size dams for each application. We purchased about eight dams over the course of the project in various sizes and lengths.”
Because of a large tributary area and low base flow, the lake water fluctuated frequently, says Wennerstrom. “This complicated an already challenging project. We also faced varying sediment depths and varying bank conditions.”
Wennerstrom credits the Dam-It Dams staff with being helpful in selecting dam that could be used multiple times in different locations. “The company’s onsite assistance was especially helpful in training our personnel in proper deployment and recovery techniques,” he says. “Not to say the project went without difficulties, but we are sure that we would have learned many more lessons the hard way without this assistance.
“When we did have washouts, it was either due to a significant storm event with resultant cofferdam overtopping or unanticipated excess sediment depth. When these factors were accurately factored in, the dams worked very well.
“Dam-It Dams staff helped after washouts when a dam repair or new dams were needed, sending new dams within days and an employee to provide onsite assistance,” Wennerstrom said.
“We were pleased with how the dams performed,” he adds. “They provided training on the initial dam placement so we could learn the proper techniques to deploy them as well as to retrieve them. That helped a great deal. They had a man onsite for us.”
As an alternative to sand bags and earthen fill, Dam-It Dams Portable Cofferdam Systems are reusable water-filled cofferdams that offer the ability to use onsite water. The company offers a training course to end users to help them save costs.
Company owner Jack Nichols says the cofferdam installation jobs can usually be done in a day. End users often choose the system when seeking an environmentally friendly product, he adds.
Like other manufacturers, Nichols notes that many jobs utilizing his company’s products are for remediation work. Such was the case in September 2010 when 10 Dam-It Dams measuring 4 feet high and 150 feet long were applied in water depths of 2 to 3 feet in Marshall, MI, during a cleanup efforts after an oil spill following a pipeline rupture in a tributary of the Kalamazoo River. The product was placed beyond the contaminated area, allowing workers to remediate the problems without dragging the product further downstream. That saved a significant amount of time and money, Nichols points out.
“We do a lot for the gas-line companies,” Nichols says. “After you remove the dam, everything pretty much springs back in a month or so. You can’t tell that the dam was even there.”