November 12, 2015

Contact: Pam Marchand, PE
Executive Director and Chief Engineer
Bristol County Water Authority


Bristol County Water Authority
Updates Barrington’s Water Mains, Upgrades System Security and Quality

 Warren, RI – The Bristol County Water Authority (BCWA) today announced that is has completed several water infrastructure system improvements in Barrington during 2015.  These

improvements to the water system helped to improve the town’s water quality and provided for more fire flow for firefighters to utilize in the case of an emergency.

“The Board and I are excited to announce these new improvements for the water system in the Town of Barrington,” said Pam Marchand, BCWA’s Executive Director and Chief Engineer.  “Water is an essential resource, and infrastructure is critical to maintaining the supply and the quality of the water.  We have started a system wide improvement program in order to have the best possible system for our customers.”

The water system improvements for the town of Barrington include:

Increased Water System Quality and Water Availability for Emergencies for the Maple Avenue Area: 

  • The BCWA distribution system in Barrington has many “dead ends” that affect water quality and pressure. “Dead end” sections of water main cause stagnant water which degrades the cement lined pipewater’s quality and can lead to bacterial growth or increased disinfection byproducts in the water. In 2015, we made a commitment to correct many of these “dead end” problem areas by installing new ductile iron water mains. BCWA made improvements to its distribution system by installing a connection from Foote Street in Barrington, through Prince’s Hill to Sullivan Terrace to improve water flow from the Maple Avenue area to County Road.  These improvements resolve the water quality issues, provide homes with better reliability of service, and increase the amount of water available in the event of a fire emergency.
  • The BCWA system is in need of updating as many older water mains still are part of our infrastructure and are made of pre-1960’s unlined cast iron. Over the years, these pipes acquire mineral deposits that, while safe, can decrease water volume in the pipe and discolor water for customers. The water mains in Maple Avenue, Barrington Avenue and South Street were installed before 1935. We knew from customer complaints and flow testing that the pipes had considerable build up and rust on the inside of these pipes.During the summer of 2014, BCWA improved these water mains by “cleaning and lining” the pipes, rather than replacing them altogether and causing disruption to this high traffic area.   This method of “cleaning and lining” pipes allows the work to be completed using several “access pits”, rather than digging trenches along the entire length of the streets. First, crews scraped off the mineral buildup in these mains and then a cement lining is installed on the inside of the pipes to prevent the cast iron water main from future mineral build up.The BCWA’s work will effectively double the life of the water mains and keep the water that goes through them clear. In addition to providing improved water quality to this neighborhood, this project also improved the fire flow capability to the area. Tests done on the fire hydrants before and after the “cleaning and lining” project, confirmed that the homes and businesses in this area have improved fire protection available through these newly lined pipes.


Increased Water Infrastructure Quality on Melrose Avenue:

  • Some older water mains in Barrington are made of reinforced asbestos cement. Over the years, these pipes have become brittle and are subject to breaking and causing damage to the system and an inconvenience to our town’s homes and businesses. In 2014, the BCWA renovated some of these pipes in in our system by installing a structural liner inside the pipes, creating a “pipe-within-a-pipe”. This included Melrose Avenue, from Hawthorne Avenue to Anchorage Way in Barrington. This will extend the life of this water infrastructure and decrease the likelihood of a water emergency from occurring in the area.

2015 Foote St Mains - Barrinton