May 11, 2021
ACUA has invested $2.1 million to replace the main pipeline that carries wastewater from the Island of Brigantine to our treatment plant in Atlantic City. The replacement project is a major component of ACUA’s asset management plan to ensure the integrity of the sewer pipeline.
The large 24” force main is one of three major pipelines that carry wastewater (that’s water that has been flushed down the toilet, gone into the shower drain, emptied from the dishwasher or washing machine) to our treatment facility. Once here, the wastewater goes through an extensive treatment process before it is placed back into the ocean. (Click here for a full review of the process).
The section of the pipeline that was replaced is above ground and approximately 1,100 feet long. The support piles, which hold the pipe up, have also been replaced.
A portion of the original force main crosses over ACUA's 48" effluent pipeline, which carries clean, treated water from our facility out to the ocean.
After the Clean Water Act was passed in the 1970s, communities like Brigantine had the option to connect to ACUA’s regional facility to ensure new federal standards for sewage treatment were being met.
The Brigantine force main was constructed around this time out of steel pipe, which has an estimated life span of 100 years. Although the pipe had only been in service for nearly 50 years, ACUA discovered through careful inspection that the critical pipeline had come to the end of its useful life.
Time for Replacement
Blistering on the exterior led to the discovery that the original pipeline was thinning in these corroded areas. Because the force main is a critical piece of infrastructure, ACUA prioritized the project and invested $2.1 million on its replacement.
Soil boring work was performed in January 2021, which involves drilling into soil to measure its density. This important piece of the process helps determine the depth at which support piles must be driven underground to stay structured.
A temporary bridge and roadway into the marsh were also constructed to allow access to the work area.
In late February, the selected contractor completed installation of temporary bypass piping, wet tap and line stop. This allows wastewater to continue traveling to the treatment facility while the pipeline is being constructed. Once it was confirmed that the bypass was operating properly, the contractor began demolition of the original force main and pile caps.
The pilings were installed and construction of the new force main pipeline followed. The new pipeline was completed and the bypass was removed in late April 2021.