In 2012, the ACUA’s (Atlantic County Utilities Authority) Wastewater Treatment Plant came within six inches of flooding because of Hurricane Sandy.
Had the storm surged further, the infrastructure might have been compromised.
That experience led ACUA to prepare and fortify the resilience of their wastewater infrastructure for the next storm.
ACUA has applied for low-interest loans from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust.
The blog post “How ACUA is Preparing for the Next Sandy“, ACUA highlights the following resiliency projects:
Portable Flood Barriers
Portable flood barriers can be inflated for use during storms and other high water events at the Wastewater Treatment Plant and at off-site pumping stations. Estimated cost: $100,000.
Sumps will be installed in the lower elevated buildings of the plant would be used to remove water from powerful storm surges and prevent flooding from causing failure at the facility. Estimated cost: $300,000.
A seawall would be built to surround sections of the facility that are not at a high enough elevation to withstand flooding.
The seawall will protect the plant from storm surges that could cause a failure during storms and high water events. DC Water is currently installing similar technology along its Blue Plains plant to protect flooding from the Potomac River. Estimated cost: $8,500,000.
ACUA hopes to begin these projects once they receive authorization. It is great to see this small water authority taking preventative measures and thinking long-term for their infrastructure.
When you are preparing your infrastructure management plans and planning, infrastructure resilience is one of the key components of your risk management plan and can be a driver of new capital expenditure and/or changes in operational and maintenance practices.
Infrastructure resilience should be analysed in conjunction with service levels, and legislative or regulatory requirements.