IDAHO FALLS, ID — Recently, the United Association (UA) highlighted the work of its members on a unique project. Plumbers and Pipefitters, Local 648 was chosen by the Basic American Foods (BAF) Company to construct a special processing building in Shelley, ID that would be used as a dehydrated potato processing plant.

The UA members were contracted for the job under Atlas Mechanical and Industrial, Inc. According to the UA, for the project, BAF needed to install a reverse osmosis evaporator so that byproducts of the potato dehydration plant could be separated into starchy solids. The construction required an RO/Evap building, where filters and special processing systems would separate the solids at a reduction rate of one part solids to 39 parts water.

The UA says that the process required over seven miles of pipe for installation in the 4,000 sq-ft building.

Construction began on the project back in November of 1999 and operation of the plant began in June 2000. Before operation could begin, over 45,000 man-hours were needed. The UA also says that at any given time, 40 pipefitters and welders were working to complete the job.

Publication date: 10/01/2001