NCFI TerraThane Helps Save West Virginia Trout

Something was fishy at Reeds Creek Hatchery in Franklin, WV. One of the state’s largest trout hatcheries was losing water from porous pipes channeling water from large natural springs down to the fish storage areas called runways, and the Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) needed to find out why and fix it. The wayward water had dangerously eroded the soil beneath the concrete slabs on which the runways are built and threatened the thousands of pounds of live trout within.
“They were losing about 100 gallons a minute,” says Andrew Tucker, a geotechnical remediation expert. “The spring system is quite large and sends hundreds of thousands of gallons down channels that feed the runways where fish of distinct ages, sizes, and weights are kept. The water was pouring from the carrying pipes and through the concrete side walls of the runways and flowing beneath the slabs, so the voids had gotten large.”
Tucker says his company, High Caliber Coatings of Williamstown, WV, was tapped to help solve the erosion and water loss problems. “Massive voids as large as VW Bugs had appeared beneath the slabs, so we used a special geotechnical polyurethane to safely fill them completely. Another contractor would apply a membrane lining to the pipes, and we would then remediate the leaking walls.”
Tucker says they removed the trout, reduced the flow of water to and within the runways, drilled small 5/8th-inch holes in the slabs, and injected the geotechnical polyurethane called TerraThane from the US company, NCFI. The polymer, which is certified NSF/ANSI 61 safe for use in drinking water, flows throughout the void and slowly expands to fill the entire cavity then cures in place becoming monolithic with the surrounding soil. “It took over 7,000 pounds of TerraThane to fill the voids, which is a lot of material. Next we vertically injected polyurea into the cracks in the side walls to seal them.”
Tucker, who has been in the geotechnical and coatings industry for 14 years, says using TerraThane is a much better solution than the old concrete slurry method of filling voids. “TerraThane is lightweight, easier to use, causes less disruption, and cleans up easily. A two-man crew completed the job in three short days.” He says he’s tried other manufacturers and NCFI stands out, “We can count on NCFI products every time. Plus, their customer service and technical support is the best in the industry. They’ve been very good to us.”
According to Tucker the hatchery management, the DNR, and two other state agencies were thrilled with the result. “They even asked us back to help solve a problem with their natural spring system, which filters and reuses 80 percent of its water, starting in Dec.-Jan.”
Jim Hedrick, the hatchery program manager with the DNR, explained in a 2016 local television appearance how the hatchery works: "Ultimately, it starts by taking the larger fish in the hatchery and collecting the eggs from those, and that usually starts happening around August of each year. The eggs are collected and fertilized, and they're put in special hatching jars, or trays. And then when the fry hatch, they begin the growth process,” said Hedrick.
He continued, “It takes about 18 months for these little guys to grow large enough to be let loose, but once they do . . . these Rainbow, Golden, Brown and Brook Trout will be finding new homes across the Mountain State. "On an annual basis . . .normally, we stock about 750 thousand pounds of trout, which is typically slightly over a million fish a year.”
Now those trout, their farmers, and the people with poles waiting patiently for them to grow to size so they be released into a river, can all thank High Caliber Coatings and NCFI’s TerraThane.
NCFI, was founded in 1964 and is headquartered in Mt. Airy, NC. The company manufactures polyurethane foam chemical systems for spray foam (SPF) insulation, geotechnical, agricultural, roofing, marine flotation, packaging, specialty molding, and many other uses. The company also offers a complete line of flexible foams for furniture seating, transportation seating, bedding, carpet underlay, and packaging. NCFI also has manufacturing plants in Dalton, GA., and Salt Lake City, UT. NCFI belongs to the Barnhardt Manufacturing Company, Inc. family of companies. To learn more about NCFI please visit

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