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Force Main Pipeline Replacement Underway at Bader Field in Atlantic City

Jul 02, 2020


The repair on ACUA's force main pipeline, located at Bader Field in Atlantic City, was completed on Monday, November 9, 2020. The project was almost finished when a leak was discovered in the temporary bypass line the day of the completion. Final testing on the new line was completed quickly after the leak was discovered on November 9, enabling a successful switch from the damaged bypass line to the new force main pipe.

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The repair project began in April 2020 when a leak was detected in the 30" force main that serves the Downbeach communities, as well as the Chelsea Heights section of Atlantic City and Seaview Harbor Marina in Egg Harbor Township.

Before the leak in the temporary bypass line was discovered, the final valves for the repair had been installed. The contractor planned to conduct testing prior to switching over from the temporary bypass lines to the new pipe. When the contractors arrived the morning of November 9, the leak was detected. Pressure testing was expedited and completed successfully, allowing the contractor to start the process to open the new pipe and to divert water from the bypass to the force main. The final steps for making the switch to the new force main were completed in the evening.

The bypass line was turned off that night and all wastewater is now flowing through the newly constructed force main.

This project is part of a phased approach to replace force main pipes from the Downbeach area to the Wastewater Treatment Facility. The next phase, which will replace the pipes that run under the bay waters at Beach Thorofare, under the Atlantic City Expressway and under the New Jersey Transit rail line will go out to bid soon and is anticipated to start during the first quarter of 2021.

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*Published July 2, 2020*

On Saturday, April 18, 2020, a sewer leak was reported in Atlantic City on the Bader Field site. The leak was located on a 30” force main that services the Downbeach communities, the Chelsea Heights section of AC and Seaview Harbor Marina in Egg Harbor Township. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), local health departments and the Atlantic City Office of Emergency Management were notified about the situation. The Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) hired an emergency outside contractor to install a temporary bypass system and contain the leak.

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To mitigate contamination from the leak, ACUA increased sodium hypochlorite levels at its Longport and Broadway pumping stations, which provided added disinfection. Hay bales were installed along the Beach Thorofare in the vicinity of the leak to further assist in filtering discharge. 


The contractor began work to prepare the site for the temporary bypass Monday, April 20. The tie-in pits were excavated and 2,200 feet of bypass pipe was fused and installed along the perimeter of the site. The installation of the bypass was completed during the overnight hours on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. The bypass was first pressure tested to ensure it was ready to be activated. Pump stations belonging to the ACUA, Ventnor Water and Atlantic City Sewerage Company were shut down to minimize pressure during activation. The bypass was successfully turned online at 1:10 a.m. on Thursday, April 30.

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Throughout the process, water samples from multiple sites in the nearby waterways were tested for enterococcus to determine the impact of the leak. As expected, initial results after the leak was discovered were high near the site of the leak. After the bypass installation, all water samples were determined to be below allowable limits for enterococcus by May 8, 2020.


Work on the permanent force main pipeline replacement is currently underway. The process began toward the end of May with the installation of soil erosion and sediment control measures. A wellpoint system, used to keep the excavation area dry from moisture, was installed along the bayside. The installation of the 30” HDPE replacement pipe is expected to be completed within the next couple months.

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