The water treatment facility now is capable of withstanding a 500-year flood event, thanks to the new flood control upgrades
On Sept. 24, New Jersey American Water held a ribbon-cutting event celebrating the completion of a $37 million flood protection project at its Raritan-Millstone Water Treatment Plant in Bridgewater, N.J. The long-term flood protection project will protect the water treatment facility from high floodwaters during heavy rain events up to a 500-year flood event, an increase from the facilities previous capabilities of handling an 100-year flood event.
According to My Central Jersey, the enhancements include raising the berms and current floodwall from 44 ft to 48 ft. A second portion of the project currently is under construction and includes new raw water intake pumps and emergency generators, bringing the total project cost to $65 million.
“We have fortified this critical infrastructure in order to provide a clean, safe and reliable water service not only to our customers in Central New Jersey, who rely on us everyday, but also to million residents throughout the state during emergency situations,” said Deborah Degillio, senior vice president of American Water’s eastern division and president of New Jersey American Water.
The plant produces an average of 132 million gpd, can peak at 190 million gpd, and provides drinking water to 1 million people in seven counties. As the largest treatment plant in New Jersey, maintaining functionality during storm events is essential.
“Growing up in the area we all know the challenges of living close to the Raritan River from a flooding perspective,” said Michael Kerwin, president of Somerset County Business Partnership. “I really want to commend New Jersey American Water for stepping up and making sure the next time we have a storm or a hurricane, we have a safe supply of water.”
The New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust provided a $27.2 million low-interest loan for the project. $2.2 million was provided by the state Department of Environmental Protection and $25 million was borrowed at a 1.18% interest rate.