Innovative Scrap-Tire Dam Prevents Soil Erosion In Arizona

TUCSON, ARIZ. -Soil erosion in the 80-mile-long Brawley Wash, located southwest of Tucson in Altar Valley, is being stopped by an unexpected source - discarded passenger tires.

The wash, which began as a wagon trail in the 1840s, stretches north from the Mexican border, feeding into the Santa Cruz river near Mar-ana, Ariz. Time, summer rains and erosion have combined to make the Brawley ap-proximately 200 feet wide and 25 feet deep.

Last June, Joshua Minyard, a geological engineer, and Stuart Hoenig, an electrical and computer engineering professor at the Univer-sity of Arizona, Tucson, constructed a 45-foot-long, 35-foot-wide and 6-foot-high tire dam on a dry arroyo that feeds into the wash. The tires are bound together with industrial grade plastic strapping and filled with gravel.

"The arroyos run deep and wild," said John King, owner of the ranch where the dam was built. "You need to slow the water down and allow it to spread out. A soil retention structure will slow erosion, giving plants a chance to regenerate and heal the land."

During the summer months, Ari-zona ranches are threatened by downpours that produce violent water run-offs with typical streams dropping "50 to 80 feet per mile," according to Hoenig.

After analyzing the problem, the engineers decided to use a tire bridge because they felt it would aid in trapping sediment carried north by rushing water, while still allowing water to pass through. In addition, recycled tires are less costly than concrete.

Although the project suffered a set-back when the summer rains came before the dam was complete, it still retained three feet of sand - a figure that pleases state officials, who are optimistic about rebuilding before next summer.

Funding for the project was provided by Goodyear, Akron, Ohio, and Phelps Dodge Copper Co., Morenci, Ariz.

Acquisitions Wastequip Inc., Beachwood, Ohio, has acquired May Manufacturing and Distributing Corp. of Denver, the largest refuse e-quipment manufacturer in the Rockies.

Camp Dresser & McKee Inc., Cambridge, Mass., has ac-quired Petroleum Contractors Inc., Long Beach, Calif., Phoe-nix, Ariz., and Mobile Equip-ment Fabricators, Long Beach, Calif.

HDR Inc., Omaha, Neb., has completed the purchase of the company from its previous owner, Bouygues, Paris.

Approval KW Plastics Re-cycling Division, Troy, Ala., has received an UL94 class rating on their Natural Re-cycled HDPE Fractional melt.

Contracts Weyerhaeuser Recycling, Tacoma, Wash., has signed a five-year contract with Nike Inc. to recycle the paper from its World Campus in Bea-verton, Ore.

Baker Environmental Inc., Pittsburgh, has received a $1.5 million contract from Beth-lehem Steel Corp. to conduct Resource Conservation and Recovery Act studies at its Burns Harbor Division, Ind.

Distributor Rexworks Inc., Milwaukee, has appointed Pacific Utility Equipment Co., Seattle, as an authorized distributor of the company's recycling grinders.

Expansion East Manufac-turing Corp., Randolph, Ohio, added seven new dump and platform dealers: Complete Fleet Services Inc., Commerce City, Colo.; Northwest Great Dane, Pacific, Wash.; Sci-entific Brake & Equipment Co., Saginaw, Mich.; Utility Trailer Sales of Southeast Texas Inc., Houston; Dorsey Trailer Sales of Alabama, Birmingham; Medford Trailer Co., Central Point, Ore.; and Wagons West Sales, Edmon-ton, Alberta.

Fiscal Kimmins Corp., Tampa, Fla., announced that net income for the quarter ending June 30, 1996 was $228,000, compared to net income of $224,000 for the same period in 1995.

Funding The California In-tegrated Waste Management Board, Sacramento, Calif., has approved spending $550,000 to clean up dangerous dump sites in Lassen and Imperial counties.

Name Change The Hold Company Inc., Blue Bell, Pa., recently has changed its name to Audiomax.

New Facility Dinverno Recycling, Detroit, has completed a 25,000 square foot, $1.5 million construction recycling center.

Elliott Sanitation Equipment Co., Davenport, Iowa, has opened a new facility in Lin-coln, Neb.

Waste Reduction Systems, Dearborn, Mich., has opened a nine-million-gallon plant that offers oil recycling and waste treatment and disposal services.

Partnership RMT Inc., Madison, Wis., and Power Strategies LLC, Houston, announced they are entering a partnership to jointly secure and develop projects focusing on the beneficial use of landfill gas.

Programs The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Md., and the National Christmas Tree Association have established the 1996 Christmas Tree Recycling excellence A-ward program. Applications are available. For more information, contact Nancy Copen at SWANA, (301) 585-2898, ext. 235.

Reorganization Browning Ferris Industries Inc., Houston, has reorganized its North American operating business structure to divide the continent into 13 market areas.

Web Site Jacobs Vehicle Equipment Co., Bloomfield, Conn., has established a home page on the Internet: http://