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Chicago Innovation Award Winner

Advanced Valve Technologies

Winner in: 2018
Winning Product: EZ Valve
Winner Category: Chicago Innovation Award
Industry: Industrial and Energy

Question: How does a city install a permanent valve or a temporary line-stop in a water pipe without shutting down the whole system?

Answer: Very carefully. And very fast, or businesses and voters will let the city know.

Advanced Valve Technologies of Elk Grove has won nine patents to protect its EZ Valve system, and sets a new standard for quicker and less expensive installation of a valve in an existing under-pressure pipe. The system works on most pipe materials, including plastics, ductile iron and asbestos/concrete, without interrupting service to customers while cleanup or repairs are made downstream in the water system.

Water professionals using old technology typically excavate multiple sites upstream and downstream of the spot to install a standard valve. That old-tech process could interrupt vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and halt all water service below the nearest valve while mechanical work continued for many hours and often days.

The EZ Valve can be installed in a smaller, single excavation and doesn’t require heavy equipment service for the smaller sizes. Training in EZ Valve techniques including an actual valve insertion can be done in a single day.

The special benefits stem from the ductile iron casting that encircles the pipe at the point of valve insertion. The unique casting and gaskets assembly enables the rotational milling of a slot across 120 degrees of the pipe. A strong but resilient wedge gate is inserted through the slot to halt flow to downstream customers where repair or clean up work is necessary. But upstream customers remain fully served.

After downstream repair is complete, the EZ Valve can be opened, the housing for the resilient gate can be removed, and the pipeline returned to normal operation. The resilient gate housing may remain in place for future line stoppage or removed for use elsewhere.

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