New Haven, CT, March 30, 2017 – The South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority (RWA) is at the forefront in maintaining its water system infrastructure to deliver high quality, reliable drinking water. In Fiscal Year 2016, more than $27 million was invested in water treatment and distribution, aging pipeline replacement, watershed protection and land management, and other improvement projects including cyber security. The RWA plans to spend approximately $28 million in Fiscal Year 2017 to continue enhancing system reliability, water quality, upgrading metering systems and protecting sensitive data.
A recent report issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers on the nation’s infrastructure reaffirmed the need to invest in drinking water infrastructure. “The health and prosperity of Greater New Haven is largely dependent upon a buried network of water pipes,” said Ted Norris, Regional Water Authority vice president of asset management. “The RWA’s purpose is to make life better for people by delivering water for life. Families and communities rely on our water systems every moment of every day; that’s why we address aging infrastructure each year by preparing a prioritized projection of improvements, additions and renovations to the water system to provide for and protect the water supply, and to meet drinking water standards.”
One of the most visible challenges associated with aging infrastructure are water main breaks. The RWA’s main break rate is well below the reported rates in the U.S. and Canada. “Our water main breakage rate is approximately four breaks per 100 miles of installed main,” said Norris. The industry urges water utilities to strive for an annual break rate of 20 breaks per 100 miles of installed main. “We attribute our low break rate to our proactive water main renewal practices, including the replacement of water mains that experience three breaks within 1,000 linear feet and our strict installation practices.”
Each year, the RWA upgrades miles of water mains across south central Connecticut, some close to a century old, using bonds and other sources to finance its infrastructure improvements. “This helps to improve water quality and reliability, reduces water loss from leaks and breaks, and supports our local economy.”