BCWA will soon connect emergency supply with East Providence

Gives both a secondary source of water in times of urgency

Posted 3/9/21

EAST PROVIDENCE — The Bristol County Water Authority will soon complete its recent project to construct a new $6.9 million emergency backup water pipeline connected to the City of East …

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BCWA will soon connect emergency supply with East Providence

Gives both a secondary source of water in times of urgency

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The Bristol County Water Authority will soon complete its recent project to construct a new $6.9 million emergency backup water pipeline connected to the City of East Providence’s system, linking the two at the Kent Heights water storage facility.

It will provide an emergency water supply from Providence Water to either utility in the event of a failure. BCWA is funding the $6,909,780 project and East Providence is providing support and assistance with traffic control during construction, which is expected to last through much of 2021.

“This new emergency water connection is a critical component to the resiliency of our regional water supplies,” said Stephen Coutu, executive director and chief engineer for BCWA and the former director of Public Works in East Providence. “We look forward to our continued collaboration with the City of East Providence.”

The water infrastructure project is essential for both BCWA and East Providence, as it will establish a backup water supply. If something should happen to either utility’s pipeline, both will still be able to provide safe, reliable water to its customers.

“We are absolutely thrilled to finalize this project and are eager for BCWA to begin construction of this much-needed emergency pipeline,” said East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva. “Now more than ever, it’s important that we work together to provide our residents and businesses with an uninterrupted flow of clean, safe and reliable water.”

BCWA will begin construction on the new water main and emergency interconnection on April 5 and will begin at two sites: Pawtucket Avenue and Elder Avenue.
The agreement comes after BCWA experienced two leaks in April 2019 in its East Bay Pipeline. The leaks were unexpected and took more than six months to identify, access and repair. During that time, the existing East Providence interconnection was used selectively with activated water restrictions, as it is not able to supply enough water to support both utilities’ full distribution needs.

The new water main and connection, which was already being designed prior to the East Bay Pipeline leak, will be larger and able to provide a greater backup supply of water if such a need should arise in the future for either utility.

CB Utilities of Bristol will install approximately 1.5 miles of 24” pipeline from the emergency pump station on Pawtucket Avenue to the East Providence water storage facilities at Kent Heights.

Work is being planned to minimize traffic disturbances where possible. Construction crossing Pawtucket Avenue will be performed at night. Work on Dover Avenue in the area of Kent Heights Elementary School will be performed during the summer months when school is not in session.

Work is scheduled to be ongoing for the 2021 construction season. Upon completion of the pipeline construction, all impacted East Providence streets will be repaved curb to curb.

The design of the new water main was a collaborative effort between the design engineer, Beta Engineering, BCWA and East Providence. Several routes were evaluated and factors including constructability, traffic, business aspects and cost were considered.

Construction will begin in the area of the emergency pump station on Pawtucket Avenue. It will then cross Pawtucket Avenue to Village Green South and continue onto Squire Lane to Village Green North. The pipeline will then travel north across the Citizens Bank parking lot and cross through East Providence property. Continuing onto Elder Avenue, the pipeline will turn west onto Wampanoag Trail and then north again onto Dover Avenue. The pipeline will end at the Kent Heights tank facilities on Greenwich Avenue.

Regular pipeline project updates will be posted on the BCWA (bcwari.com) and City of East Providence (https://www.eastprovidenceri.gov) websites. Additionally, residents and businesses affected by the construction will be notified directly prior to its start.

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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.