The Village of Cambridge, NY, located in the east-central portion of the state along the Vermont border, just celebrated its Sesquicentennial (150th) Anniversary. With sections of their water system, which serves 2000+ residents, still original to the Village, they struggled to keep up with its maintenance and increasingly strict water quality regulations.
To overcome those challenges, management of the system was taken over by Aqua New York (Aqua). Shortly thereafter, management changed hands to New York American Water (NYAW). Due to the management transition, we had the opportunity to work with both Aqua and NYAW on this upgrade project. We provided preliminary engineering work for Aqua that looked at system improvements, like a new storage tank and transmission main installation. Then, when NYAW took over, they wanted to continue working with us to retain the value of the system knowledge and planning we provided to Aqua. We then worked with NYAW to finalize the design and permitting, plus perform bidding and construction management.
The Village had built a new 73,000 gallon tank in 1995 close to their two wells, but this infrastructure was at the far northeast corner of their system, not centralized. Modeling of the system noted limited fire flow, particularly at a new nursing home, as well as concerns about water age. So a second tank, a 150,000 gallon standpipe, was designed at a more central location to aid in fire flow and provide duplicity in the system. Our specifications included options for bolted steel or welded steel, and NYAW chose bolted steel for its initial lower cost and faster construction schedule. A new 2,200’ long 12” diameter transmission main was designed from the new tank through a portion of town, helping form a new backbone to the system, and ensuring better flow throughout. Finally, with all of the new system components, new tank and system controls were designed, critical to ensure both tanks would fill and empty in a way, ensuring good water quality and pressure throughout the system.
Throughout the permitting phase, we worked closely with NY regulators, such as the NYSDOH, NYSDOT, and NYSDEC, plus the Village of Cambridge Planning Commission, to keep everyone informed and provide input necessary to keep this project on its tight construction schedule.
When tying the new transmission main into the old system, it was critical to sequence the installation with minimal impact to Cambridge’s residents. We worked closely with NYAW’s operations staff and Cambridge’s system operator during construction, to ensure quality construction and minimize service disruptions. Sections of the system were isolated where possible, to avoid water quality problems inherent during main replacements; only a handful of customers were affected at the conclusion of the work.