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Portadam Named Exclusive Supplier to Pa.’s Hawbaker

Fri March 11, 2011 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Hawbaker Engineering President Robert E. Mellott has announced that Portadam Inc., headquartered in Williamstown, N.J., has been named the exclusive supplier of Above Ground Impoundment systems to Glenn O. Hawbaker Construction Services. In the five year exclusive agreement, the Portadam water retention system will be used by Glenn O. Hawbaker for above-ground impoundment for use in the Marcellus Shale field operation.

Glenn O. Hawbaker provides design and consulting services for site planning, governmental approvals and professional engineering services throughout the Northeast, primarily Pennsylvania and southern New York. Its affiliate, Hawbaker Engineering, will be instrumental in the development projects for regulatory permitting, land surveying, drillling and frack support along with system design.

The Portadam system as an above-ground water storage impoundment acts as a replacement for in-ground impoundments and frack tanks. The flexible framing arrangement of the Portadam system allows for easy assembly, breakdown and re-assembly when used on either central or multiple fracking sites. This water system permits installation in practically any configuration with provisions to accommodate inflow/outflow requirements, according to the manufacturer.

Portadam systems are now being recognized throughout the development industry as a preferred system for above ground water impoundment. The above ground alternative to the Portadam System is the use of costly and problematic frack tanks. For example, a site that uses 7.1 million gallons of water would require an estimated 350 frack tank trucks for the entire process — versus 6 Portadam trucks that are needed to transport materials.

For a project of this size, it would be necessary for each frack tank to be piped together to provide sufficient supply as compared to one central piping system. Aside from the cost of multiple frack tank rentals, some 5.7 acres of land would be needed to house these trucks as opposed to 3.4 acres for the Portadam System, according to the manufacturer.

The physical characteristics and regulatory conditions associated with the Marcellus Shale fields presents a need for above ground storage, in order to comply with stringent State DNCR, DEP and EPA regulations. This is particularly key since the DCNR prohibits blasting on state forest property, which encompasses much of the Marcellus shale fields. Extensive blasting would be necessary for in-ground impoundments for water storage. In addition, in-ground impoundments subject the environment to acid mining conditions. In this region, the excavation process exposes large amounts of sulfur, which results in acidic ground water runoff which in-turn, pollutes the waterways, causing them to be uninhabitable. The environmentally-friendly Portadam system prevents this from occurring.

For more information, visit Portadam Inc. ( or Glenn O. Hawbaker Construction Services (

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