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From emergency to opportunity

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#Community Engagement and Partnerships
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Emily Eckart, Manager of Communications and Development

The inaugural New Jersey One Water Awards, sponsored jointly by Jersey Water Works, the Association of Environmental Authorities of New Jersey, and the New Jersey chapter of the American Water Works Association, were developed to honor initiatives that exemplify the principles of the One Water approach: the belief that all water- stormwater, drinking water, wastewater- has value that can be unlocked by implementing sustainable, inclusive, and integrated water resource management practices.

From emergency to opportunity

In December 2016, Middlesex Water Company detected a leak in a transmission main under Route 1 in Edison Township. The leak presented a major challenge. It had to be fixed immediately; the main represented a critical piece of the company’s infrastructure, which serves 61,000 customers in eastern Middlesex County. But its particular location — next to Route 1 and near the Route 287 northbound ramp — created an unusual level of difficulty. A conventional solution would have called for what’s known as open-cut replacement, which would require shutting down two important thoroughfares and excavating the roadway.

An experienced crew applies the CFRP lining inside the main.

Middlesex Water opted for a more innovative strategy: using a carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) to repair the 385 linear feet of pipe. The 30-inch diameter of the prestressed concrete cylinder pipe was large enough for an experienced crew to crawl inside and apply the polymer sheet internally. After hardening, the sheet formed a thin liner that left the internal diameter of the pipe virtually unchanged. This structural rehabilitation extended the main’s integrity for a minimum of 50 years of potable water use. The pipe regained its original hydrostatic pressure capacity and gained load capacity. The repair also allowed the pipe to accommodate increased internal pressure requirements. Most importantly, the project was completed rapidly, with no public disruptions or traffic delays. It was the first time that CFRP had been applied to a pipe section of this diameter and length.

While the transmission main was out of service, Middlesex Water undertook an additional proactive step: an internal electromagnetic and CCTV inspection of the pipe to identify any other areas that might need repair. This structural evaluation and assessment provided information about the horizontal and vertical alignment of the main. The electromagnetic inspection revealed that one pipe segment needed imminent replacement. This section of pipe was replaced prior to the CRFP application. By conducting this additional investigation of the pipe before the CFRP process, Middlesex Water ensured that the completed repair was both comprehensive and sustainable.

Throughout the repair process, Middlesex Water consulted with local police, fire, and township officials. The company also collaborated with local businesses, the local gas utility, contractors, consultants, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Once the project was complete, Middlesex Water informed the public of the repair through social media, demonstrating how proactive infrastructure replacement benefits the community. The company also hosted an information session to share its process with other utilities, construction companies, and engineering firms, and will present a paper about the project at several upcoming industry conferences.

Primary Partners: Township of Edison; New Jersey Department of Transportation; Middlesex County Roads Department; Public Service Electric & Gas; Williams Colonial

Supporting Partners: CDM Smith; Echologics; J. Fletcher Creamer; Pure Technologies; Simpson, Gumpertz and Heger; Structural Technologies

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