Industry News: Water & Steam

Securing Puerto Madryn's water supply

KLINGER Argentina and Servicecoop's swift action to address seasonal water demands

The rhythm of the tides is a familiar feeling in Puerto Madryn, a coastal city in the Chubut province of Argentina. Located on the sheltered bay of Golfo Nuevo, Puerto Madryn supports a diverse range of marine life year-round. Southern right whales breed from May to December, while Magellanic penguins arrive in September and fledge in April. The city's beaches and mudflats are important feeding and resting grounds for flamingoes, rheas, and guanacos. Across the bay, the rocky Valdes Peninsula is home to elephant seals, which are preyed on by orcas.

Water solutions for a thriving town

Ecotourism is popular in this region, as visitors come from all over to appreciate the wildlife and natural beauty. Birdwatching, snorkeling and diving, and sunbathing are all popular pastimes for locals and travelers alike. Accommodations range from budget hostels to luxury hotels, while cultural and dining options offer similar variety. This vibrant town is growing rapidly, creating water supply challenges particular to the region. Local public services cooperative Servicoop sought the help of KLINGER Argentina, knowing their reputation for fluid control solutions.

“As a tourist city year-round, it uniquely blends Tourism, Industry, Commerce and Residential sectors, with an important deep-sear port for Patagonian imports and exports. It must be considered that Puerto Madryn’s altitude ranges from 0 to 130 meters above sea level, with a current and projected geographical dispersion of more than 25 km from south to north and from east to west. This is complicating the management, especially as the population swells by 40% in peak season, intensifying water demands amid varying elevations.”

Fabio Martin, Planning, Logistics, and Operational Administrator at Servicoop.

Are you curious about how the pressure reducing station was delivered and installed? Watch the video.

Navigating the currents: Puerto Madryn's quest for water stability

While officials tried to balance the constantly shifting demand for water, they knew they needed a better solution. The current system was not rated to handle the necessary pressures to fulfill service requirements, leading to intermittent outages. As Servicoop Administration Counsel President Harry Woodley says, "Sometimes in summer, they have to cut some part of the town, or reduce the flow, because they cannot get water for the whole town at the same time.” In some cases, pressure fluctuations led to pipe ruptures, which required immediate and costly repair. Further, such damage was concerning from an environmental perspective, which was also a priority in a town that thrives on ecotourism.

“When you break the pipe, you waste water. You have to work fast in these cases.”

Cristian González, Sales Manager at KLINGER Argentina

Contacts mentioned in the article:

Emanuel Brizuela, Sales Executive for KLINGER Argentina

Cristian González, Sales Manager at KLINGER Argentina

Eco-conscious water management

Further complicating the water load was the city’s industrial needs. Aluminum production, fishing, and agriculture are important to the local and national economy, and Puerto Madryn’s strategic location ensures that demand for its products and services will only grow over time. Despite these many aspects all competing for limited resources, the city was dedicated to finding a green solution to its water needs. “They don't waste water, they reuse,” says Emanuel Brizuela, Sales Executive for KLINGER Argentina. “They have treatment plants, they reduce, they don't leave the water to the sea. They are a very conscious city, a thinking country. Here in South America we are conscious about the Earth.” After consulting with local experts, the team agreed that a DN 300mm pressure reducing station, connecting the main reserve to a secondary reserve, would provide sufficient flow control for downstream needs.

Perfect alignment was key in this delicate project.

Collaborative engineering for sustainable water management

Because this project would require taking the system offline, everything had to be aligned perfectly to minimize down time. KLINGER Argentina and Servicoop coordinated with province officials, ensuring that product delivery and installation would not be delayed by red tape or logistics. As Servicoop Head of Operations, Rodolfo Jaramillo was familiar with the steps needed to smooth the way: “With all these sectors—engineering, logistics, beneficiations, people in the field—everything has to happen fast. The cost of the water, people going without water, the money that you waste repairing, all of these mean it has to go fast. We had to be very well coordinated in order to do the work in a fast way and in a proper way.” From ideation to bringing the system back online, the project took only 180 days. One key piece in the timing process was delivering the reducing station in pre-assembled sections, minimizing assembly time and ensuring joint integrity. KLINGER Argentina’s supply chain experts were on hand to determine the maximum delivery sizes that the town's infrastructure could support, balancing convenience with the practicalities of road delivery.

The DN 300mm pressure reducing station will be connecting the main reserve to a secondary reserve in Puerto Madryn.

Emanuel Brizuela (left) Sales Executive for KLINGER Argentina and Fabio Martin (right) Operational Administrator at Servicoop.

Gearing up for Puerto Madryn's growth

With this project successfully completed, the team is looking forward to further expansion as Puerto Madryn continues to grow. Robust industrial sectors, a thriving tourism industry, and a burgeoning population will require additional upgrades and more advanced technical solutions to meet local water needs. As Cristian shares, “Engineering is already thinking about another station like this, because the population is growing very fast. Maybe a few years is enough, or maybe less.” With a crew of proven experts on the case, rolling with the tides will keep Puerto Madryn on the right track.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What prompted the need for a new pressure reducing station in Puerto Madryn?

The demand exceeded the system's capacity, leading to pressure fluctuations and service interruptions. This necessitated the implementation of a new pressure reducing station to ensure reliable water distribution for both residents and visitors.

How did KLINGER Argentina and Servicoop ensure the project was completed efficiently?

The project was fast-tracked through careful coordination among multiple sectors, delivering the reducing station in pre-assembled sections for quick assembly and ensuring the entire system was brought back online within a mere 180 days.

Are there plans for future water infrastructure projects in Puerto Madryn given its rapid growth?

Yes, the successful completion of the pressure reducing station is just one step in ongoing efforts to upgrade Puerto Madryn’s water infrastructure. With the city's population and industrial sectors growing swiftly, additional enhancements and more advanced technical solutions are already in the conceptualization phase to meet the expanding water needs.

Fact box

Did you know ...

  • ... that Puerto Madryn is not only a hub for ecotourism but also a key city for aluminum production, fishing, and agriculture, which are vital sectors to Argentina’s economy?
  • ... that Puerto Madryn is the gateway to the Valdés Peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage site, making it a hotspot for whale watching and marine biodiversity studies?
  • ... that KLINGER Argentina offers a wide range of products, including gaskets, valves, and level gauges, designed to meet the rigorous demands of industrial processes?
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