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Fire Suppression System at Martin State Airport

Location: Baltimore County, Maryland Client: Maryland Aviation Administration

JMT designed a new water pipeline to replace the supply for the fire suppression system at Martin State Airport.

The existing, offsite water supply for the Martin State Airport's sprinkler systems was to be disconnected.  In order to keep the airport in operation a new dedicated supply was necessary because National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes dictated that sprinkler systems in the airport hangars and other buildings receive flows greater than those available through the public water system.  JMT initially provided a review of previous studies and worked with the client to identify design alternatives to replace the supply that would meet the fire marshal's requirements.  JMT continued with preliminary and final design services for a new pipeline across the airfield at Martin State Airport, connecting the hangars and main control building with an existing storage tank and booster pump station.

The new transmission main and high pressure fire hydrants were the key components of JMT's design, with a new distribution system to tie them in to the individual hangars and buildings.  We designed approximately one mile of 16-inch, 12-inch and 8-inch ductile iron, mechanical joint fire protection main across the airport from the existing tank and pumping system to the existing sprinkler systems in each hangar. 

The project contained several challenges.  The groundwater elevation was high throughout much of the site, creating poor soil conditions and requiring extensive dewatering.  Additionally, the existence of numerous underground utilities required the design to include detailed subsurface utility engineering.  From an operational standpoint, the airport would have to remain open throughout the construction with limited disruption to airport personnel and tenants.

In order to minimize disruptions of airport operations, JMT separated the construction into phases with concise timeframes to ensure that the contractor maintained access throughout the airport.  Our staff continually coordinated with the MAA's Fire Marshal and operational staff to ensure construction was in compliance and that the MAA's staff were kept aware of the construction.


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