New Jersey American Water has released a new video about its multi-year, $65 million (S$88.8 million) investment to ensure the resiliency and sustainability of its Raritan-Millstone Water Treatment Plant. The video can be seen on the company’s YouTube Channel and other social media channels.
The Raritan-Millstone Water Treatment Plant, situated in Bridgewater, Somerset County, N.J., is New Jersey American Water’s largest water production facility and a regional source of potable water supply for seven counties in central New Jersey. The plant is located near the confluence of the Raritan and Millstone Rivers – an area of Somerset County that experiences severe flooding during significant storm events due to the relative low ground surface elevations in the floodways adjacent to the two rivers.
The plant produces an average system delivery of 132 million gallons a day (MGD) and is capable of peaking at 190 MGD. As a Tier 1 New Jersey Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness facility, the Raritan-Millstone facility is also considered “Critical Infrastructure” by the federal Department of Homeland Security. Water supply from the plant is also provided to five large bulk water sales connections, and two Critical Regional Emergency Interconnections – the cities of Newark and Trenton.
“This video highlights the plant’s history and the investments we have made over the years to continue to ensure its reliability during severe weather events that have tested it,” said Cheryl Norton, president of New Jersey American Water and senior vice president of American Water’s eastern division. “Our recently completed flood protection project was designed to achieve a recommended level of protection from 500-year storm events, to enable us to maintain a sustainable water supply for the more than one million people in Central New Jersey who rely on us.”
The first major flood protection project at the facility in the early 2000s was a result of the plant being flooded by Hurricane Floyd in 1999. The recently completed flood protection project was spurred by the near-flooding of the plant during Hurricane Irene, with peak flood water levels recorded within inches from the top of the facility’s floodwall.
With the completion of this project, the entire floodwall system at the plant was raised by four feet to an elevation of 48 feet, which is the level of flood resiliency supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corp of Engineers. The raising of the floodwall, which accounted for $37 million (S$50.5 million) of the total $65 million (S$88.8 million) investment, provides flood protection from storm events up to 500-year recurring frequency. In addition to raising the plant’s north reinforced concrete floodwall, the earthen berms in the northeast and west were also raised and widened, with additional reinforced concrete flood walls constructed, new flood gates installed, and drainage mechanisms improved at the plant.