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Shambhala Mountain Center where a fiberglass flow monitoring manhole was field insulatedFrom time to time we like to bring you unusual or innovate approaches that customers use in the field.

Located in Red Feather Lakes, CO (elevation 7,890 ft. [2,405 m]), Shambhala Mountain Center is nestled high in the Colorado Rockies in a serene 600-acre mountain valley surrounded by native forests, gentle meadows and rocky peaks. The Center offers “…indigenous wisdom traditions, body awareness practices, and other paths of personal transformation.” 

Shambhala Mountain Center were a fiberglass metering manhole was field insulated

As part of their services, Shambhala provides a variety of living quarters for both short and long stays, which in turn has meant that the Center must discharge sewage to the local treatment plant. 

To monitor these flows, the Center chose to install a fiberglass packaged metering manhole.  The packaged metering manhole was chosen as it offered ease of installation, factory integration of the flume into the fiberglass manhole structure, and single source responsibility.

As the time of the installation approached, a concern developed that during winter, when the Center would experience occasional off-peak periods, there would be little flow going through the manhole. The elevation and location of the installation raised the possibility of flow freezing in the manhole – potentially causing an overflow problem as flows later increased.  While sanitary flows tend to be quite warm (for natural reasons) there was a concern that needed to be addressed. 

With the manhole already on site, baring a return of the unit to the factory, nothing could be factory formed / installed to address the concern.  It didn’t appear that a ready solution to the problem existed – that is until someone though of field applying insulating foam board to the outside of the manhole!  Using two-part expanding foam insulation / sealant, sheets of foam board were secured to the outside of the manhole without a problem. 

field insulated fiberglass flow metering manhole

By all accounts the field-applied insulation has been a success.  With the manhole in now for several years, there have been no instances of freezing flow in the manhole and the unit itself stays well above freezing.  Whether this is due higher (or warmer) flows or the insulation we can’t say…all we know is that Shambhala is happy with their installation!  Which in the long run is what matters…

learn more about fiberglass manholes


Images:  Shambhala Mountain Center 

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