N.J. American Water to Begin Several Water and Sewer Projects in Lakewood
In the 2010 census, Lakewood Township’s population increased from 60,352 (2000 census) to 92,843, making Lakewood the 7th largest municipality in the State. With that population explosion and the subsequent building boom of homes and schools come the need to add a solid infrastructure of water and sewers.
The upper management of N.J. American Water Company and Greg Stafford-Smith, chairman of the Lakewood Utilities Advisory Council, have been working to initiate projects that would provide desperately needed infrastructure, increasing the economy and service to several developing areas in Lakewood.
Suzanne Chiavari, vice president of engineering for N.J. American Water Company, explained to Township committee members and the public several projects that will be built in Lakewood over the next year. She also introduced Elliott Schwartz and George Bauer, individuals who will be working with Lakewood developers and initiating a program of infrastructure improvements.
Elliott Schwartz, the infrastructure improvement coordinator, will manage the construction of water mains, sewer mains, and sewer pump stations. George Bauer, operations supervisor for Lakewood, will be overseeing the day-to-day operations of delivering water, collecting the sewage, and pumping the waste. He will also handle customer questions and identify issues to be resolved.
Several projects will be built over the next year. One project has already been completed and is currently in service. The Vine Street sewer extension ground breaking or Phase I took place with the laying of 3,000 feet of new sewer pipes on Vine Street from Oak Street north to Spruce.
In Phase II of that project, about 4,000 feet of 16-inch diameter pipes, will be installed from the intersection of Route 9 and Broadway through Oak Street, the northwest corridor, and will connect to the Phase I project.
This particular project holds a special interest to Lakewood’s redevelopment community because there is a moratorium on new sewer connections on Route 9 as a result of a capacity issue. This project will open up that corridor and allow N.J. American Water Company to take on over one million gallons a day of sewage in that corridor along Route 9.
This design has been completed and is before the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection. N.J. American Water Company officials expect to get permits approved this fall. Most likely construction will begin the beginning of 2014, with the hope of completing this project by early next fall.
Chiavari said, “We are likely to open that sewer connection on the south side of Route 9 in the fall of 2014. This will help developers plan their projects.”
Another project will involve new water mains on Cross Street and Prospect Avenue. N.J. American Water Company plans to build a new water storage tank in that area, connecting the same water main in and around Massachusetts Avenue, coming down Cross Street, and coming up Prospect Avenue toward Massachusetts Avenue.
Chiavari said, “We are evaluating the need to extend the water mains west from Cross and Prospect further west. We have not defined exactly how far we are going to go at this time. We need to see the plans for the schools and other developments for the next few years, such as the plans for schools, housing, and community centers. That’s one of the things Elliott will help us with by getting in touch with the development community, and determine for the future how much water they are likely to need.”
N.J. American Water Company is moving forward with the water main grid on Cross Street and Prospect. The next phase, moving west from that intersection, will probably be built within a year.
“We are working with the county to determine their repaving schedule of Prospect where we have plans to install mains. We need to know what their plans are so we can determine what side of the street to put our pipes in and to coordinate the timing. We are working as fast as we can, recognizing there is a lot of coordination needed there,” said Chiavari.
Although N.J. American Water Company is proceeding with its design, they would like to put in the pipeline before the road is repaved. Construction may begin possibly in the fall of 2013.
Over this winter, N.J. American Water Company plans to build a water storage tank that would be in service during the summer of next year, 2014. The water storage tank will help improve fire protection in the area, the western side of Route 9, the southwest corridor of Lakewood from Route 9 west to James Street south.
Chiavari points out that water mains are easier to design when all of the development plans are not definitive because it is easier to engineer and pump water around. To install sewers, however, more specific plans for development are needed in order to know in what direction to move the sewage.
“We know that we will be moving the sewage north and eventually it will be directed to the Ocean County Utilities Authority; but the routing of the piping is more difficult on the sewer side so we need more concrete plans as to what will be built there, how many housing units and what amount of sewage will be created that will need to be pumped and moved through the system to the OCUA. We have some preliminary ideas of how we are going to do that but until the development is a bit more defined, the design phase cannot be completed.