After 53 Years, DeZURIK’s Oldest Known Valve in Service Has Worked its Last Day


After 53 years, DeZURIK’s oldest known valve in service has worked its last day. (8/1/2009)

If you started a job, a really hard job, do you think you could hold out 53 years before retiring? Even if the demands were intense and the working conditions dark and damp?

The anticipated service life of a valve is 25 years… that’s a good career. So when the City of St. Cloud, Minnesota decided to upgrade its half-century-old softening and filtration systems, they ended up with a little surprise. You see, they were replacing a set of six valves that had been in continual use since 1955. (In that time, they were estimated to have over 69 billion gallons of water go through them.) But the dismantling team had quite the surprise when they took down the first DeZURIK Eccentric Plug Valve: it was in remarkably good condition.

So much so, that they decided to call the manufacturer – who coincidently is just 6 miles up the Mississippi River in Sartell, Minnesota. What they learned was that this valve, at 53 years old, was the oldest valve known to be in service. And the St. Cloud Water Treatment Facility had six of them, all in excellent shape especially in light of their rigorous service life.

St. Cloud Water Treatment Facility serves a population of over 68,000 with an average of 8 million gallons of water treated per day… with a capacity of 16 million gallons per day in peak usage. The valve replacements were part of a $7.5 million project started in early 2008. The project is the first of three phases to increase treatment capacity to serve the St. Cloud area’s growth through 2030. The choice to go with DeZURIK in 1955 may have been to support a local business. But the choices in valves today are much greater. Before the removal revealed the amazing structure of the vintage valves – the City of St. Cloud had elected to replace them with DeZURIK valves once again. And now, they couldn’t feel more confident in their decision.

“Through the city’s various facilities, we’ve tried other valve manufacturers. But they haven’t always worked as well…or been as reliable,” said Patrick Shea, City of St. Cloud Public Utilities Director. “We need to meet the area’s water demands 24/7. We can’t have downtime.”

The DeZURIK PEC Eccentric Plug Valve was originally developed by Matt DeZurik in 1928 to solve the problems of paper plants using gate valves where fibers would pack into the valve’s cavities causing them to require constant repair. His Eccentric Plug Valve design not only helped solve those issues and increase production at pulp and paper mills, but also became the preferred choice for the water and wastewater treatment industry.

Matt DeZurik’s original design has gone relatively unchanged for over 80 years. The actuator on the valve has been updated for safety and ease of maintenence, otherwise, the original engineering principals remain unchanged. DeZURIK’s original design and quality manufacturing are the reasons the St. Cloud valve was still in use—and was in such remarkable condition upon removal. Larry Korf, President and CEO of DeZURIK remarked, “The condition of the 53-year-old valve speaks to the genius of Matt DeZurik’s original design. The solid manufacturing techniques and materials used to create this valve are still what we use today. Its exactly what allowed a valve that should have a 25-year life to continue operating flawlessly for over 50 years.”

The construction of the Eccentric Plug Valve includes welded-in nickel seats in the cast-iron valve which provides excellent resistance to corrosion and damage as witnessed in the 53 year-old valve that had been in constant wet service and showed very little corrosion.

The 53-year-old valves were replaced with DeZURIK’s PEF 100% Port Eccentric Plug Valve. This valve combines 100% port area for high flow capacity with the application benefits and performance of a DeZURIK’s proven Eccentric Plug design. One of the most noteworthy elements of the product is the valve’s multiple v-ring packing and adjustable packing gland, which allows for visual inspection, adjustment and replacement without disassembly. All features vital to the constant operations of water treatment plants.

Said Patrick Shea of the new installation, “The City of St. Cloud is excited to continue their relationship with DeZURIK and looks forward to many more years of working with the company and products that have served the City so well.” DeZURIK operates from its Sartell, MN headquarters, the site on which the original company was founded in the late 1920s. With an intense global market focus and continual investment in product line expansion, DeZURIK is the leader in the water and wastewater treatment markets as well as industrial markets, which serve energy, process and commercial applications.

DeZURIK’s product line includes Eccentric Plug Valves, 100% Port Eccentric Plug Valves, AWWA Butterfly Valves, High Performance Butterfly Valves, BOS Resilient-Seated Butterfly Valves, V-Port Ball Valves, Rotary Control Valves, PEC Valves, 3- & 4- Way Plug Valves, Pump Check Valves, Knife Gate Valves, Pump Check Valves and a wide range of actuators.