Category: Special Fabrication

PLC- based control system operates the (4) pumps in variable or constant speed modes to maintain constant pressure.

Pump stations come in many shapes and sizes. With so many options for customization depending on the needs of the customer, you could almost say that no two pump stations are exactly alike. That might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s definitely not a stretch to say that all pump stations aren’t created equal. Those exposed to the elements come with an obvious set of challenges and normally age more quickly due to exposure, while pump stations set below ground level increase safety risks and costs (if a permit is required) by creating a confined space.

When the City of Oak Lawn set out to upgrade its own aging infrastructure and confined space pump station, it was determined that an above ground station was the answer. When the lead contractor set out to plan the job, Metropolitan met all the specifications, had a reputation for quality in the industry, and offered round the clock support. However, meeting specs is only the tip of the iceberg and 24/7 support typically only comes in handy after things are connected. In other words, it’s easy to make those claims. The real difference comes to light in the space between meeting specs and offering service. The real difference is in delivering from start to finish. At Metropolitan, we understand the importance of building a reliable pump station and, to accomplish that, we’ve got you covered from the first pipe to the final shingle.

(4) 125 HP end suction pumps are capable of delivering over 10,000 GPM through 24” piping.

All Under Two Roofs

To help guarantee quality and ensure that every component of a Metropolitan pump station arrives in perfect condition, we build ours in our Romeoville, Illinois facility. That means we’re actually building your roof under ours. This approach allows us to remain on schedule by working regardless of the weather and it enables us to test everything before delivering. Pump stations must normally be tested in the field, but this can cause delays and increased costs. With our on-site testing capabilities, we can work to guarantee that every valve, pump, and handle function properly. With systems shipping all over the country, these tests are especially critical, but testing all components is equally important.

Further, the pumps are fusion bonded and approved for drinking water, but we know that the building must also be suitable from two different perspectives:

1. The Structure

The building itself must provide adequate protection from the elements. A Hardie TM board exterior with numerous facade customization options and an FRP interior help create structural integrity with every Metropolitan pump station, while blown-in closed cell insulation provides temperature protection. This approach protects valuable equipment and makes the structure compliant with various building codes. To ensure the system is always up and running, the installation of a diesel or natural gas generator is also possible.

2. The Functionality

In addition to serving its purpose as shelter, every pump station must allow for seamless day-to-day operations. For Oak Lawn, that meant all pumps, controls, and the chemical room — a customization requested by the municipality — needed to be accessible at all times. In part, this is made possible by the climate controlled, enclosed space of the pump station itself. By removing the elements, operators can work without worrying about the weather, and with accessibility options such as cranes, hoists, and overhead doors, service is simplified.

Completed housed booster station set onto the foundation at the jobsite.

Backed By Engineering and Expertise

To design and build a lasting, reliable structure, we begin with full three-dimensional renderings that help clients understand the space and its possibilities. Our design engineers are experts in the world of pumps and pump systems, allowing us to design pump stations that function as planned in Metropolitan’s test lab and in daily use. From a range of available pump options from various manufacturers to the UL listed controls to the software that keeps everything running, we cover it all. Following design approval, the structure is built, tested, and arranged for delivery.

In Oak Lawn, our attention to detail and our deep understanding of the needs of municipalities combined to produce a pump station that will serve the community for decades. Not only that, but we plan to be around to provide the city with the support it needs as it grows and continues to change. We always feel a sense of accomplishment when we can check design, construction, and installation off the client to-do list, but we never put a mark beside “24/7 Support and Service” because we’ll never be done offering that. For more information our prefabricated housed systems, visit

Interior of the back flow facility left little room for the water booster system.

Interior of the back flow facility left little room for the water booster system.

When a local refinery added a back flow prevention facility to their water service system back in 2009, they inadvertently created an adverse effect on the water pressure available to the refinery.

The back flow prevention facility intercepts a 12 inch water main originating from the local city’s water line. The water pressure entering the facility from the city varies from approximately 30 psi in the winter months to as low as 20 psi in the summer months.

The diverted flow through the back flow facility ultimately began to rob the refinery of precious operating pressure. As the water flow moved through the refinery, it also encountered additional losses, in the form of pipe, valve and fitting friction losses. This lower pressure required a solution, to ensure that the refinery has a reliable source of pressurized water, and can continue to function properly.

Metropolitan began to work with a local engineering company to derive and implement a reliable solution. All parties concluded that a water pressure booster system would need to be added to the back flow facility. The situation at the facility included a number of challenges, which would be sure to test the capability of any system’s manufacturer. One of the most challenging aspects involved the space limitation within the back flow facility itself.

The building was not designed to house additional equipment of the size required to overcome the reduced pressure dilemma. The 12 inch water service enters the facility, splits off into two 8 inch lines, each with its own large 8 inch back flow preventer, which is then combined back into one 12 inch main before leaving the facility on its way to the refinery. This large gallery of piping and equipment left little room for a water pressure booster system.

Secondly, the local refinery made it clear to all parties involved, that the water service upgrade project must be designed to ensure that the water demands of the facility would not adversely affect the operation of the city’s public water system. In addition, the application required that a number of large custom piping fabrications be provided beyond the boundary of the pumping system. These custom piping fabrications were required to mate precisely with the existing pipe connections within the facility, with no room for error.

Water pressure booster system added to the back flow prevention facility.

Water pressure booster system added to the back flow prevention facility.

Additionally and possibly the most critical situation facing the group, was reliability. The upgrade needed to be designed to eliminate any possibility that water service to the refinery could be interrupted.

Finally, the time line required to implement the solution was formidable. The team was only given 60 days during which to design, engineer, document, refine and manufacture the system. This challenge was coupled with the requirement that the installation take place, without interrupting flow to the refinery, or to anyone receiving water from the local city system.

The system featured an impressive operational design, which monitored flow and pressure to the refinery, as well as to the local city, and could adjust the operation according to the demands of one entity, without sacrificing operational effectiveness to the other.

The system was manufactured on time, and the delivery and installation were coordinated with seamless precision, allowing the refinery and municipal water to flow continuously during the entire upgrade process.

CBOC-Blog Post

Installation of the pre-fabricated boiler-house for the new Veterans Affairs Outpatient Center at Hines Veteran Administration of Joliet, measuring 47-feet long by 20-feet wide by 13-feet tall, one of Metropolitan’s largest housed system to date.


What started as an engineering and fabrication challenge for Metropolitan Industries, has turned into one of the largest housed systems we have produced in our 55 plus year history: A prefabricated boiler-house measuring 47-feet long by 20-feet wide by 13-feet tall and weighing almost 90,000 lbs.

Following months of arduous labor and immense preparation from the Metropolitan team, the modular central steam plant designed for the new Veterans Affairs Outpatient Center at Hines Veterans Administration of Joliet, Ill. departed our facility and was placed in its permanent home.

Designed to provide steam and water utilities to a facility purchased by the Veterans Administration and located on the Old Silver Cross Hospital Campus in Joliet, mechanical division salesman Mike Temes described the project as “fast moving” and said Metropolitan wasn’t brought in on the project until the bidding process was nearly closed.  The short time frame from bidding the project to receiving the customer’s letter of intent required extensive planning amongst the many departments of our company.

“Once we came to the realization that we were a legitimate contender to receive this project, a meeting was conducted between our engineering, electrical, fabrication and sales staff to determine whether or not we could complete such an intricate job during the allotted time,” said Temes.  “From the start everyone involved in the project was extremely eager to help and provide support. These individuals were extremely supportive in the early process of this project and it could not have gotten off the ground without them.”

With a project integrating so many complex components, Temes said that both he and project engineer Neil Vogel relied heavily upon the expertise of Metropolitan’s staff for direction, and that the sacrifices exhibited were striking.

“This entire project has been a valuable exercise in teamwork and unity,” said Temes.  “As relatively new employees, Neil and I are novices in the design of prefabricated structures and relied greatly upon our co-workers for help.  Our staff members experienced in the design of these structures went above and beyond to assist us with this project, and the sacrifices made speaks volumes about the team atmosphere present here at Metropolitan.”

Among the many challenges faced throughout the project’s development, two particular challenges were overcome during the process.

“This structure is larger than what we could accommodate when it came to erecting the building within our facility,” said Vogel.  “Fortunately Metropolitan invested in the expansion of our warehouse doors, thus allowing us to complete almost all of the fabrication and wiring of the building indoors during the harsh winter months.”

He also cited the drawing and assembly of the structure as a demanding process for our engineering staff. The final submittals were extremely intricate, which required our engineering, fabrication and electrical staffs to pay very close attention to detail throughout the project’s construction.

The steam boilers for this project had the longest lead time of any equipment on this project.  For that reason we had to wait until the steam boilers were at our facility to start the majority of the structural fabrication.

“One of the most extraordinary aspects of this project is the fact that the majority of its construction has taken place over a 10 week period,” said Temes.  “We couldn’t order materials and put torch to metal until we received the approved submittals, and studied the precise specifications that the customer required.”

Due to the sheer size and weight of the building we needed to have the base design stamped by a professional structural engineer.

“The collaboration of efforts between Metropolitan’s sales, engineering, fabrication and electrical departments, the trucking company, and the crane operator, ultimately played the most prominent role in the installation’s success,” said  Metropolitan’s project engineer Neil Vogel.  “Transporting such a large structure from one site to another is no easy feat, but we were able to achieve positive results with the right team and strategy in place.”

Ushered by police escorts and accompanied by many Metropolitan personnel, the boiler-house was moved nearly 10 miles to the job site with complete ease, and the installation process began shortly thereafter.

The entire installation went as well as we had envisioned, and no issues were encountered throughout the process. Both the police escorts and the trucking company did a fabulous job of not only ensuring that the structure arrived safely, but did so in a timely manner. The entire installation was a valuable exercise in teamwork and everyone involved should be credited for its success.

In an effort to provide a cost effective benefit, the VA was able to officially disconnect its building from the original Silver Cross Hospital central loop and is now receiving its steam from the new modular central steam plant.

Project engineer Peter Papanikolaou of KJWW Engineering Consultants was pleased Metropolitan was ultimately brought in to contribute to the project and is satisfied with the end result.

“I was very familiar with the work Metropolitan had completed in regard to housed pumping stations, and was pleased to discover that they could engineer a sophisticated steam-based system like this,” said Papanikolaou.  “It was comforting working with a local organization, which ultimately helped everyone involved with the project.  Overall, I would describe Metropolitan as extremely professional and helpful during this entire venture.”

Officially disconnected from the original Silver Cross Hospital central loop, the VA is now receiving steam and water utilities from the Joliet Modular Central Steam Plant. (Interior View)

Officially disconnected from the original Silver Cross Hospital central loop, the VA is now receiving steam and water utilities from the Joliet Modular Central Steam Plant. (Interior View)



A view of the renovated water pump station in Franklin Park, Ill.

At Metropolitan Industries, we pride ourselves on service that exceeds customer specifications. Over the years, we have modernized the fabrication process to complete projects that include even the most difficult of challenges.

The Village of Franklin Park, Ill. recently made the decision to upgrade an existing pump station and contractor Dahme Mechanical Industries, Inc. of Arlington Heights, Ill. called upon Metropolitan to assist in addressing their needs.

The facility was more than 40 years old and served as a main water pump station for the village. The project required specialized fabrication of certain parts to aid in installation of the new booster pumps.

Following an initial field visit, Metropolitan Salesperson Ken Turnquist came to the conclusion that specially fabricated spools would be required for the project to function upon completion. To accommodate the village’s needs, Metropolitan’s Bob Svoboda designed several custom-dimensioned offset spools to ensure the new pumps would work in the existing configuration.

“We needed to design special 12-inch by 8-inch spools, so I essentially started with a 12-inch diameter pipe and constructed it on a segment by segment basis” said Svoboda. “By the time we had finished, the other end of the spool matched the 8-inch connection and bolted in perfectly.”

In total, eight specially fabricated spools were required to complete the project.

Turnquist says the need to specially fabricate a system is an opportunity Metropolitan faces on a routine basis. Lift station adapter flanges for rail systems are one of many special fabrications Metropolitan creates regularly.

Metropolitan’s Fabrication Department designed eight offset spools for the upgrade.

“We’re often faced with projects where existing wetwells have all of the piping and suction elbows mounted,” said Turnquist. “In many instances the customer elects to utilize one of our pumps, but a stock flange cannot fit in the existing rail system. This is where we have to specially fabricate a new flange that will allow the new pump to seal on the existing base elbows.”

For more information, please contact Ken Turnquist at 815-886-9200, ext. 261 or

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