Waterlines May 2017

Infrastructure Replacement

For 2017, the Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission has prepared an aggressive capital program to upgrade our infrastructure. Each year, we identify portions of our system that require maintenance or have reached the end of their useful life. We determine what upgrades are necessary to continue to supply our customers with the highest quality drinking water.

In June through August of 2017, the MPWC will replace the eight-inch water main on Chapel Ave. in Cherry Hill and Merchantville. The main has reached the end of its useful life. To replace the water main, the street will be cut open and a three-foot wide trench will be excavated to approximately four feet deep. A new ductile iron pipe will be laid in the trench, sanitized to make sure it is clean, and pressurized to make sure there are no leaks; the main will also be encased in a polyethylene (plastic) wrap to prevent the soil from corroding the ductile iron and increase the life of the pipe. The trench will then be backfilled and compacted. The individual property services will be transferred from the old main to the new main. The old main will be capped and abandoned and the street will be repaired.

When the project is complete, Chapel Ave. will have a new water main to service the area for the next 50 to 100 years. The new main increases water quality, lessening the chance of any service disruptions in the area. If the mains are not replaced, they continue to degrade to the point that they would no longer be usable.

Our construction crew will also be tying in water mains at John Tipton Blvd. in Pennsauken. These types of repairs increase flow rates for domestic usage and enhance fire protection capabilities. It also increases water movement to continuously provide the freshest tasting water possible.

In addition, our construction crew recently removed five two-inch diameter blow-offs and installed hydrants. This allows our bi-annual flushing program to properly remove harmless mineral deposits that may accumulate at the end of a water main. This again increases water quality for our customers in these areas.

To facilitate additional improvements, the MPWC construction team is purchasing a valve insertion system this spring. This system allows us to insert a stainless-steel valve into an existing pressurized water main; we can replace valves without shutting down entire areas of our distribution system or without having to contract out the valve insertion. This will save both time and money.

The elevated water tower on National Highway will be painted this summer. The tank was last painted in 2007. The exterior of the tanks are painted approximately every 10 years to keep the tank looking its best for the community and to protect the steel and minimize repairs.

We are upgrading our computer controlled operating system with newer technology, which allows faster controls on equipment and gives us the ability remotely monitor additional water quality data.

The MPWC will also be adding security cameras to two of our treatment plants. These two plants are the last of our plants that are not remotely monitored at our main treatment plant by our 24 hour, seven days a week operators.

Our meter replacement program is still in full swing. To date, we have installed 11,000 of the 15,000 meters necessary to change our entire system to a radio read water system. Once complete, the MPWC will be able to monitor leaks throughout our entire distribution area. In the next few years, we plan to install data collectors that will transmit the readings back to our office to make meter reading real time.

The MPWC believes that if we stay proactive, we will continue to deliver the best quality, best tasting water at the lowest possible price for many years to come. We are proud of this water utility that serves all of our families.

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