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Why Gunner-Concrete is Your First Choice for Pouring Intake Structures

Water intake structures are one of the most important concrete projects. Did you know that we might not have a reliable water supply without a solidly constructed intake? Although we have rarely seen one, it builds a bridge between a water source and other components of the water supply system.

There are different types of water intake structures. Each water intake pour will be slightly different, and structures generally fall into one of four types. In some cases, a project may fall into more than one of those categories.

  • EXPOSED INTAKE Exposed water intakes usually come in the form of water towers. They have become very common because they are easy to operate. Water towers allow the operators to accommodate a wide fluctuation in the supply's water level. They also make it possible to remove water from greater depths. Depending on the water level, towers usually have multiple intake ports at different heights.

  • WET INTAKE In a wet intake design, the water tower is filled to the same level as the sources of the supply. The water initially filters through penstocks before it enters the tower. From there, it is pumped to the water treatment plant.

  • DRY INTAKE With this type of design, the water tower does not hold any water. Instead, it houses conveying pipes that carry the water directly from the source to the treatment plant. The tower itself is accessible for operations, maintenance, and adjustments.

  • SUBMERGED INTAKE Submerged intakes are among the most challenging to pour as the entire system is constructed underwater. They are often the best choice for water supplies from lakes or rivers. The intake channel is placed below the bed of the lake or river from which only the inlet end protrudes. These constructions have a few advantages when it comes to dealing with environmental factors. They hardly disturb the flow of the water in rivers. It is almost impossible for floating debris to compromise the intake. Plus, in colder regions, ice forming on the surface of the lake or river rarely causes anything other than minimal issues.

Pouring water intakes requires precisely mixed concrete available exactly when it is needed. This high-quality concrete is the only way to ensure that the intake structure can withstand the demands put on it.

Water intakes have to resist several environmental forces starting with the water pressure. They also have to be strong enough to withstand waves, strong winds, fast-flowing floating debris, geological formations, and annual rainfall. Controlling or limiting erosion, removing solids, and minimizing turbulence in the water flow are key considerations for intake design and construction. Considering all those factors, water intakes are generally placed in the purest zone of the water source.

Depending on the exact conditions in the respective location, water intakes often require specific concrete mixes in large quantities. Because of those specific requirements, our concrete plant on wheels is the perfect solution for pouring water intakes.


Our volumetric concrete mixers have several advantages over traditional mixers in constructing water intakes.

  • REMOTE LOCATIONS Water sources and water intake construction projects tend to be in remote locations. Those pose difficulties for traditional barrel mixers; however, our volumetric mixers can easily rise to the challenge! Our mobile concrete mixers travel to where you need them to be. To keep them running for the duration of the pour, we ensure that there is a sufficient supply of cement and aggregates for the mixers to be ready to supply the amount of concrete necessary. Because it is mixed on-site, the concrete will have the right consistency for the project. In remote locations, our concrete plant on wheels helps avoid delays during the project. There is no need to wait for a truck that has got stuck in traffic, for example. In addition, you are able to pour fresh concrete, ensuring the pour is of the highest possible quality. If mixer trucks have to travel a long distance from the batch plant to the pouring site, the quality of the mix deteriorates. Once at the site, water may need to be added which changes the strength of the finished concrete. Our volumetric mixers are ready to pour when you need them. You are not wasting any concrete if you need less than initially thought, and there are no delays in case you need to mix more.

  • ADJUSTABLE MIX DESIGN Our concrete plant on wheels allows us to change the mix on the spot. As the project's requirements change, we can simply adjust the desired mix on the touchpad of the Commander control system, and the mixer starts pouring the new design. There is no need for separate mixer trucks or repeated trips to the batch plant. It's a much more effective use of time and equipment than traditional mixers and allows you to adapt to the project's changing needs.

  • HIGH-PERFORMANCE CONCRETE Submerged water intakes require you to pour underwater concrete (UWC). This is a high-performance concrete that needs to be strong enough to resist the water pressure around it. With other types of water intakes, concrete may be partially submerged. UWC needs to build up viscosity quickly during the mixing process. It also needs to be highly flowable and consolidate itself. Having Gunner-Concrete on-site and being able to control the mix in real-time is our distinct advantage. The specific mix rarely needs to be adjusted during the pour; having the option to adjust it helps ensure the best possible outcome. Our concrete plant on wheels is the perfect tool for pouring water intake structures. We can help you perform in remote locations, allow on-site adjustment of mix and quantity, and support you to save time and resources throughout the entire project. Our flexibility allows you to accommodate any type of water intake and deliver the exact mix required, every time!

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