The Fuqua Gardens located inside of Westover Memorial Park has a history dating back to the early 1900s. Built as reflection garden with seven separate hand laid stone ponds, this high-profile location is directly behind the 13th hole of the National Golf Club across Reyes Creek and beside The Augusta Country Club.
This park at one time was a destination location for patrons of the famous golf championship. With its rolling hills, delicate ponds, and small streams the park served as a place for families to gather not only for remembrance, but this historic garden was also built as a place for family picnics, pictures, and even weddings. Over time the park’s drainage system failed thus causing the park to be lost to the depths of retained rainwater that eventually made one large water retention area. The garden slowly fell into disrepair and erosion issues reared their ugly heads.
At this point the Fuqua Foundation, in conjunction with Westover Memorial Park, put a plan in place to revitalize the garden. After several high-profile jobs in the cemetery successfully completed by Civil Solutions, the call was put out about the ability to drain and rehabilitate the main storm line, as well as the area’s pond and creek system, headed by Augusta Industrial project manager Matt Christopherson.
After years of overgrowth and flooding, the 10-in. inlet pipe had been buried 4 ft down under large tree roots, earth and debris. The hydro excavation truck was employed to remove as much as possible before the shovels, saws and hand digging were introduced into the area to finally expose the pipe. Due to the complexity of lining such a fragile pipe along with a hand-built small diameter catch basin, and the route of the storm sewer going under several burial plots at the garden entrance, the need for a highly skilled and motivated company was apparent.
About Augusta Industrial Services
Augusta Industrial Services began as Budget Sewer Service, a one-person sewer service company in 1977 by Clyde Pilcher. Forty-plus years later, the company has grown to the leading nuclear, industrial, civil and environmental service provider located in Augusta. As time moved forward, this hard-working man acquired sewer jetting equipment, pump trucks and finally hydro blasters. Being the go-to company for service, response and quality work, the company incorporated in 1986 as Augusta Industrial Services.
After many years of dedicated service, it was decided to sell the company to the employees, forming an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The company’s motto “WE OWN IT!” came as a battle cry for holding high standards and service with employee enthusiasm promoting these ideals with a high level of quality work.
Since that time, Augusta Industrial Services has grown to a fleet of 66 pieces of equipment that include everything from hydro excavation, pump, combo trucks, video inspection vans, manhole rehab trailers, and CIPP lining equipment including The Shooter from Emagineered Solutions. With more and more contractor and municipal jobs coming in, it was decided to start a Civil Division to accomplish the growing business. With the growth came the need for new and advanced equipment.
With the purchase of the Shooters due to the reputation and past use by some of the lining crew with it, the new equipment helped make the startup an instant success. The ease-of-use and the ability to maneuver both units into locations where the manholes are restricted is a defining characteristic that is paramount to proper installation of liner.
The notable advantages of both units without a doubt would be the hand truck design and agility of the trailer unit to be put into area where others would simply not fit. The ease-of-movement and setup by one crewmember makes an efficient and cost-effective part of the team. Each unit has multiple advantages from the longer life lips with no bladders, improved automatic oiling system, and the knife gate for the second half of the install. The Shooter 12 also has an available 15-in. conversion kit that allows for larger diameter lining shots in much tighter spaces. With such a tight basin, The Shooter was able to adjust the angle of the liner being blown into the basin and down the pipe.
With working in such a historical site and the limited amount of area that was allowed to be accessed without disturbing the ceremonies became a feat in itself.
The garden’s originator, Mrs. Fuqua, wanted the design to resemble a Japanese garden and with no expense spared in the topography of a sloping landscape to the pond and stream placement. Even the foliage was dictated by her design. This is where the drainage problem arose. At that time in history, infrastructure for the outgoing pipe was minimal.
The lower area of the park simply took over the drainage area until it became completely lost. With the garden’s outfall pipe now relined, new inlet drainage box installed, the area landscaped and all the ponds vacuumed out to pristine conditions, it once again became a place of beauty and a visitor’s paradise.
After many jobs being completed on time and within budget, the Shooters have proven to be valuable, reliable and quality equipment that Augusta Industrial Services is proud to own and operate. The customer base has been impressed by the close quarters’ setup, cleanliness, and minimal impact on work areas with equipment ranging from camera vans, jet/vac trucks, robotic root cutters, and lining equipment.
The small footprint and decreased amount of time of installation within historical and residential areas is by far one of the most important attributes for the company.