Clean drinking water is a precious commodity. The central Swiss company Alois Bader AG used Leister extruders to produce a recently installed reservoir for supplying drinking water to the community of Giswil in the canton of Obwalden.
Switzerland is considered the water castle of Europe. Over 1500 lakes and more than 61,000 km of rivers can be found in this country. One of many springs rises above Giswil and supplies the community with clean drinking water. But clean drinking water cannot be taken for granted.
Water quenches thirst and fire
The community of Giswil celebrates its 100th anniversary this year and looks back on a long history of drinking water supply. Many of the infrastructure buildings date from the post-war period, including the old concrete water reservoir on Feichegg above Giswil. The reservoir, which dates back to 1948, serves not only as a drinking water supply for the "Kleinteil" district, but also a fire-fighting reservoir for the local fire department.
Where plastics technology has a name
Alois Bader AG from Emmetten (Canton Nidwalden), a company which specializes in plastics technology, was awarded the contract to manage the project. Bader planned and constructed the water reservoir in the form of a round tank with the unusual dimensions: Ø 3 m; length 12 m with a capacity of 62 m3 of water and a total weight of 5.2 tons.
Even for project manager Anita Heller from Alois Bader AG, these dimensions are not quite commonplace: "Our company and clients have very high demands in terms of quality, safety and service properties. This also includes the welding seams that hold the water reservoir together."
Maneuverable Leister welding equipment in use
Bruno Heimberg, plastics technology employee at Alois Bader AG, welded the water reservoir using the WELDPLAST S2 extruder from Leister Technologies AG in Kägiswil. For all non-experts: An extruder is also known as an extrusion welding device. Plastic is heated, forced out of the front through a welding shoe as an extrudate in liquid state, and applied by the operator onto the plastics to be welded. The plastics are thus joined together in a watertight and inseparable manner. Nowadays, complete water shafts, fish farms and even boats are welded with such high-tech welding equipment from Leister.
A challenging heavy transport
Transporting from the production site in Emmetten to Giswil was not entirely easy. In an effort to make the transportation and installation process as efficient as possible, the water reservoir was delivered in one piece. Due to the extraordinary mass of the water reservoir, the panorama road from Giswil to Mörlialp had to be closed from 1:30 to 3:00 pm to accommodate the low loader as it wound its way up the steep switchbacks. The name Panoramastrasse was program: At an altitude of over 800 m above sea level, a magnificent view over the Sarneraatal opened up to all participants in picture-postcard weather.
A large mobile crane was already waiting to handle the last few meters and place the water reservoir on the prepared foundation. Combined forces and the crane operator's expert eye helped achieve a precision landing.
The Giswil well master Armin Berchtold will soon be able to give the order: "Wasser Marsch - for the next 100 years" - and clean spring water will bubble out of the Giswil pipes.