Sewage Repair at Bader Field

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On Saturday, September 23, 2017 a sewage leak was detected by the Atlantic County Utilities Authority, the Authority responsible for overseeing wastewater and sewage management, from a 40 year-old main on the west side of Bader Field. The leak resulted in sewage spilling into the immediate vicinity of areas around Bader Field, the Great Thorofare, the Beach Thorofare, and the Inside Thorofare. The ACUA’s emergency repair contractor was contacted immediately and has been working around the clock to repair and redirect the line. 

As of 2:50 am Thursday, September 28, the bypass operation is successfully operating and discharge of wastewater has ceased. Repair work to the damaged pipe will continue, but the leak has been stopped. 

The ACUA, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Agency, the City of Atlantic City’s Health Department, and the City of Atlantic City’s Office of Emergency Management have been working together to ensure that the water quality is closely monitored, and that any immediate affected areas are closed off until further notice.
 
PLEASE NOTE: This issue does NOT impact the quality of drinking water.

The City of Atlantic City Health Department has lifted a temporarily ban on recreational activities in the back bays of Atlantic City after receiving results of testing that indicate the water is safe for bathing and other recreational activities.

Following testing and analysis of shellfish samples, the NJDEP has issued a public notice to reopen the waterways of Risley Channel, Dock Thorofare, Whirlpool Channel, Shelter Island Bay and Lakes Bay North of the Margate Bridge (County Route 563) for shellfish harvesting.

Please see updates below

Map of Bader Field


Update:

October 25
The couplings and pipe to repair the force main are now on site and the repair of the 30 inch force main is underway.  As of October 25, one coupling and one 20 foot section of pipeline has been installed in the immediate area of the failed line.  The contractor is installing two additional 20 foot sections to repair a small hole that was discovered during the pipe video and inspection.
 
The excavation will continue and the second section of pipe should be installed by the end of this week, with additional pipe and couplings installed next week. When this is done, we will begin to remove the bypass.

10.25 repair pipe  10.25 repair 3  10.25 repair 2

October 5
Following testing and analysis of shellfish samples, the NJDEP has issued a public notice to reopen the waterways of Risley Channel, Dock Thorofare, Whirlpool Channel, Shelter Island Bay and Lakes Bay North of the Margate Bridge (County Route 563) for shellfish harvesting.

October 2

Results of water sample analysis from the weekend show no elevated levels of Enterococci, the indicator organism that is used to determine if the water is safe for swimming. All locations tested were well below the action level of 104/100 mL, indicating that the waters in and around the site of the leak are all safe for bathing, swimming and other recreational activities. The Atlantic City Health department has also lifted temporary restrictions on recreational activities in the back bays of Atlantic City. 

September 29 (afternoon)

Work on the damaged pipe continues and the bypass is operating successfully. As a precaution, the City of Atlantic City Health Department continues to ask that all recreation activities (swimming, shellfishing, crabbing, kayaking, jet skiing, etc.) in the back bay areas of Atlantic City be suspended temporarily. 

September 28  (morning)  

The bypass is successfully operating and the wastewater discharge has ceased as of 2:50 am Thursday morning.  Repair work to the damaged pipe will continue, but the leak has been stopped. 

ACUA thanks local residents and businesses for their efforts to conserve water to reduce the flow through the damaged line. This is no longer necessary. 

Water testing and monitoring will continue and updates will be posted as they come in. 

bypass in operation


September 27 (afternoon)

CONSTRUCTION:

Preparation for the bypass which will stop the discharge and enable the repair to the break to be done continues to progress.

Fabricated parts and essential specialized equipment were on site today and both ends of the line have now been tapped and line stops have been mounted. Bypass piping should be completed this evening. We are on schedule to set the stops and begin bypassing at 2 am, when flows are at their lowest. The timing enables the  pump stations which feed into the force main to temporarily stop the flow from their locations, allowing the bypass to be installed. 

attaching the tap      tapping the pipe 9.27

line stop installed 9.27   


SAMPLING: 

NJDEP's Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring program regularly tests the water at specific locations in the backbays for parameters that would impact shellfish.

The analysis for Tuesday’s samples showed elevated results in the area directly around the break (which has historically restricted for shellfishing). Tuesday’s sampling did not show unusually high levels of enterococcus and fecal coliform at other testing sites.

The NJDEP’s notice to close the area for shell fishing remains in place as a precaution, and testing will continue.

Additional sample areas were taken by the Atlantic City Health Department to add to the BMWM sample locations, providing information about areas further from Bader field and closer to the ocean inlets.

Samples taken Tuesday morning at low tide, showed elevated levels of bacteria at several locations around the site. Results of those same areas from Tuesday afternoons samples during high tide showed a decrease in bacteria.  

Samples continue to be collected and analyzed, and the notice to refrain from recreational activities (swimming, jetskiing, kayaking, fishing, shell fishing, crabbing, etc.) remain in place as a precaution while additional data is collected and analyzed.


September 26 (afternoon)

SAMPLING:
The test results of the ocean and bay water samples taken as part of the Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program (CCMP) weekly summer testing program on Monday did not show any abnormal levels of Enterococci, the indicator organism that is used to determine if the water is safe for swimming. All CCMP locations (18 samples had been collected in Atlantic City on Monday) were below the action level of 104/100 mL.

As a precaution, the NJDEP issued a public notice to immediately suspend the harvest of shellfish from the waterways of Risley Channel, Dock Thorofare, Whirlpool Channel, Shelter Island Bay and Lakes Bay North of the Margate Bridge (County Route 563). 

We expect the results of samples taken today to be available tomorrow afternoon. 


CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY:

Today Helical piles were installed and concrete was poured to support the tapping equipment. The equipment for the tapping process is scheduled to be onsite tomorrow by 12 pm. Tomorrow morning the contractor will be welding the fittings to the pipes, a contractor will be onsite assembling the bypass piping. The taps will be made as soon as equipment arrives. We are scheduled to insert the line stops tomorrow night around 2 am to complete the bypass. 


removing protective encasement to prep the pipe for tapping   concrete poured in prep for tapping  pipe prep





September 26 (morning)

CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY:

Overnight the emergency contractor made excellent progress. An excavation on each side of the leak was prepared. These excavations will be the location for the tapping activity necessary for the by-pass.  The activity involved continuation of exposing the 30” main, dewatering the trench and chipping away the protective encasement over the pipe so that the tapping sleeves can be installed.

An exact measurement of the pipe was recorded so that the sleeves that are being manufactured will have the exact dimensions. 
Today the contractor is building a concrete base in each excavation to house the tapping equipment which be delivered later this afternoon.  The tapping contractor will be on-site today to weld the fittings (already on-site) onto the exposed pipe.  Bypass piping is scheduled to be installed tomorrow and if all goes according to plan, the contractor will insert the line stops tomorrow night around 2 am to complete the bypass. 

Bader field  w side pit 

leak location 

 E side pit


SAMPLING:  Results from routine beach/bay sampling taken by Atlantic City Department of Health will be available this afternoon. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), along with Atlantic City Department of Health took water samples at predetermined points suggested by the Health Department.  The NJDEP Marine Water Monitoring Bureau took samples at the points shown on the map.  Samples results will be available this afternoon. 

sampling area 9.26

DISCHARGE:  The movement of the discharge is influenced by tidal activity.  During high tide the current pushes the discharge west and the opposite effect occurs at low tide.  It is our understanding that NJDEP will be attempting to evaluate the impact area.  Using its drone, ACUA flew the site to capture an aerial view of the movement of the discharge.  The drone photo was taken at approximately 5:00 pm last evening at low tide which means the current was pushing the discharge eastward.  Another aerial will be taken today during high tide.

discharge drone    

 Additional updates will be posted as information becomes available. 

 




 
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