This is the second in a series of articles explaining how OCWA–Central New York’s Water Authority–plans for, constructs and integrates water main improvement projects into our five-county service territory. This article generally explains the four different types of water main construction projects we typically undertake:
System Betterment Projects
System Betterment projects are done to replace existing infrastructure that is at the point or close to the point of failure. These projects are also done in conjunction with town or county paving/rehabilitation projects.
These projects have the largest impact on customers and residents. Most system betterments happen in highly developed, dense population areas. Many lawns, driveways & roads are disrupted to install the new main. Traffic disruptions include one-way flagging operations and detours.
Main Extension Contract projects are done when a developer or owner pays OCWA to install/extend a new main. Projects are usually done where a new development is planned. Sometimes they are done along an existing road when a homeowner finances an extension to their property.
These projects usually have little impact on residences or customers. Most roads will be bored to avoid any traffic disruptions and usually only a couple lawns/driveways may be affected.
Capital Improvement projects focus on rehabilitation, replacement, and upgrades to our water treatment, pumping and storage facilities, and major transmission mains within the distribution system.
While these projects are important to maintaining safe drinking water to all our residents, construction impacts to individual properties is limited. Transmission main replacement could happen in neighborhoods which would lead to similar disruptions as system betterment projects.
New Water Districts & District Expansions
New Water Districts & District Expansions (Town projects) are for residents in a community who desire to have public water. They can petition their town to study and develop a water district to provide them with public water. The town conducts an engineering evaluation with OCWA’s input to determine the feasibility of constructing a water system. If it is determined viable, the town will construct the water system and after complete with all approvals obtained, OCWA will operate and maintain the system.
These are quite typically large projects, with large amounts of pipe installed. The town designs, funds, and oversees construction. OCWA will do a walkthrough and accept the system for operation and maintenance after it is constructed. After acceptance we will install meters to our new customers.
For a list of planned projects see: www.ocwa.org/projects/new-water-districts-and-district-expansions/