Earlier this Spring, New Jersey American Water (NJAW) and J. Fletcher Creamer & Son, Inc. began a water supply line project in Westfield, New Jersey. NJAW is part of American Water, which operates in forty-seven states and serves approximately 15 million people. The New Jersey branch serves 2.5 million people in 17 counties. NJAW is known for its expertise in water service and wastewater treatment, delivering high quality water to its customers. With this in mind, NJAW found that Westfield, a community located in Union County approximately 25 miles southwest of New York City, needed to have its water lines cleaned and lined.
When NJAW began operating in Westfield in 2008, the company realized that many of Westfield’s pipes dated back to the 1930’s. NJAW determined that in order to ensure the high quality water and service that the company provides its customers, they would need to conduct extensive service and repair on the system if they were going to be able to supply the reliable water quality and service for which they are known. Several factors prompted NJAW to make the repairs including discolored water, fire flows, a pipeline condition assessment, a water main break history that revealed increasing problems, and customer impact. Since NJAW prioritizes its projects based on ratings in these categories to determine if the pipes are candidates for rehabilitation or replacement, they determined that Westfield’s pipes would be cleaned and lined in April 2015, because they schedule their projects based upon the greatest need.
NJAW handled all inspection, design and engineering on the project with Creamer performing the labor. Creamer is known as one of the most technologically advanced contracting companies in the country. Jennifer Twyman, project manager for NJAW, says the companies have worked together previously, and she was pleased to be working with them again. Because of this team effort, it was no surprise then that the project finished on schedule.
Westfield’s water supply system was fully back into service by the end of July. The balance of the work, which includes repairing the pavement, restoring the curbing and providing appropriate landscaping where it is needed, will take place this Fall. Ultimately, some of the pipes had to be repaired with some of them being replaced. NJAW uses various techniques to determine if a pipe is a candidate for cleaning and lining or for full replacement. Twyman says, “We use both destructive and non-destructive techniques to determine the life expectancy of the pipeline.” The testing has no effect on the lining process.
The first step in the project was to move consumer’s water meters to new meter pits installed within the public right of way or within a suitable space available on the consumer’s property. Other than having to turn off the water briefly on three occasions — when the service line and meter pit were installed, when connection to the temporary bypass was made, and once again, at the end of the project — consumers saw very little interruption or change in their water service.