BCWA pipeline repair could begin soon

PVC liner installation will take about four to six weeks to complete

By Ted Hayes
Posted 9/7/19

Work to repair the Bristol County Water Authority’s leaking East Bay Pipeline could begin by the beginning of October.

The pipeline has been leaking more than 400,000 gallons of water a day …

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BCWA pipeline repair could begin soon

PVC liner installation will take about four to six weeks to complete

Posted

Work to repair the Bristol County Water Authority’s leaking East Bay Pipeline could begin by the beginning of October.

The pipeline has been leaking more than 400,000 gallons of water a day since early April, most of it spraying out of at least two cracks far below the Providence River bed. Though the pipeline is still operational and has been supplying Bristol County the entire summer, officials hope to repair the break permanently by lining it with rigid PVC pipe. An earlier plan, to line its 4,500-foot length with a composite mesh liner, was abandoned after that product’s European manufacturer declined to sell to the authority, citing uncertainties over the condition of the pipeline’s inner wall.

Last month, authority directors unanimously agreed to place an order for 4,500 feet of the PVC liner with AEGION/Underground Solutions. Purchasing and installing the 18” diameter pipeline will cost upwards of $2.2 million and will be labor intensive. In a letter to the Warren Town Council this week, BCWA board chairman Alan Kleppter estimated the work could take six weeks to complete. The authority is currently out to bid for a contractor to install the PVC liner, and Mr. Klepper wrote that if all goes well, the pipeline could be repaired by mid-November.

Authority executive director Pam Marchand said that once the pipeline is shut down for repair, the authority will switch to an emergency interconnect with the East Providence water supply.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.