New Jersey American Water has completed the $37m flood protection project at Raritan-Millstone water treatment plant.

American Water

Image: New Jersey American Water officials at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo: Courtesy of Business Wire.

New Jersey American Water stated that this project can ensure water supply at the plant is safeguarded from the risk of flooding during extreme weather events while maintaining a sustainable water supply to more than 1 million people in the central New Jersey region.

The Raritan-Millstone water treatment plant, located in Bridgewater, Somerset County, is the company’s largest water production facility and a regional source of potable water supply for all or parts of seven counties in the state.

The plant can produce about 132 million gallons a day (MGD) and could up to 190MGD. As a Tier 1 New Jersey Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness facility, the Raritan-Millstone facility has also been designated as ‘Critical Infrastructure’ by the federal Department of Homeland Security.

Water from the plant is also provided to five large bulk water sales connections and two Critical Regional Emergency Interconnections which are the cities of Newark and Trenton.

The plant is located near the convergence of the Raritan and Millstone Rivers, in Somerset County, where severe flooding during significant storm events can take place.

Prior to this project, the earthen berms and north side reinforced concrete flood wall surrounding the plant were designed to offer flood protection for a 100-year flood event, marked by a 44 feet elevation.

The system of flood protection was tested three times in recent years, where peak flood water levels recorded within inches from the top of the berm/wall.

After the project has been completed, the whole floodwall system at the plant has now been increased by another four feet, to an elevation of 48 feet. This is the level of flood resiliency supported by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corp of Engineers.

It is claimed that raising the floodwall can offer flood protection from storm events up to 500-year recurring frequency.

New Jersey American Water president Deborah Degillio said: “Today is the result of countless hours of planning and 18 months of construction made possible by hundreds of professionals who came together to make our vision of protecting this facility a reality.

“We have fortified this critical infrastructure in order to provide clean, safe, reliable water service – not only to our customers in Central New Jersey who rely on us every day, but also the millions of residents throughout the state we help during emergency situations.”