For most of us, turning on the kitchen faucet to get a glass of water is no big deal. But until recently, residents in approximately 1,700 Erie County, Ohio, homes didn’t have this simple luxury.
With no public water service, and private water wells that were either contaminated or drying up, many Erie County residents were forced to purchase and transport water to their cisterns several times a month.
Concern over the quality and quantity of water in this rural area prompted the creation of a new water district to extend water service to these residents. The $17.3 million, 3.5-year project – financed by Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA) loans – included 156 miles of water main and a new water booster station.
Erie County selected Burgess & Niple to perform a comprehensive preliminary feasibility study, including hydraulic analyses and development of design standards, as well as financing research and assistance. A comprehensive rate study was conducted to evaluate debt service, system operation and maintenance costs, and the cost of water. B&N also completed the final design and construction services for the project.
“Erie County and Burgess & Niple have a successful relationship built on the confidence and trust that only a reputable, committed firm can offer,” Jack Meyers, Erie County Sanitary Engineer. “This massive project required innovative thinking, and B&N has responded with a high level of expertise and enthusiasm.”
The “innovative thinking” included: a horizontal directional drilling technique used to avoid aboveground disturbances, speed installation in areas with other utilities and minimize cost for deep installations, and the use of flexible, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) water main pipe to ensure fast and economical construction and high water quality throughout the system.
The project received tremendous public support. Town hall meetings served as a forum to present the project to residents and township trustees and to address their questions and concerns.
Ed Muccillo, PE, Painesville office, led the planning, design, and construction efforts for this project.