Belcourt Water System Improvements
NJ Society of Municipal Engineers
Project of the Year
The Belcourt condominiums were constructed in the early 1980s. Water service was provided from a looped 8 inch cement lined ductile iron water main. Most of the units were serviced off the 8 inch main by a 2 inch plastic line to a shutoff valve and a cluster manifold with 1 inch individual water services located at the end of each building. Unfortunately the 1 inch lines running under the buildings to the plumbing inside the condominium units were constructed of polybutylene pipe, a plastic co-polymer material. It was widely used from the mid 70's to the mid 90's nationwide. At that time it was touted as the "pipe of the future." It is now known that polybutylene pipe ages and reacts with water soluble oxidants, resulting in degradation and leakage as evidenced by the history of chronic pipe failures at the Belcourt Development.
- EVALUATE THE EXISTING CONDITIONS AND CAUSE OF CHRONIC WATER SERVICE FAILURES AT THE BELCOURT CONDOMINIUMS.
- EVALUATE PREVIOUS WATER SERVICE REPAIR PROCEDURES AND METHODS.
- PREPARE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR REMEDIATION STRATEGY AND PROVIDE COST ESTIMATES FOR IMPROVEMENTS AND ENGINEERING.
- PREPARE CONSTRUCTION PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS TO:
ELIMINATE ALL NON-METALLIC UNDERGROUND WATER SERVICE PIPING
MINIMIZE POINTS OF CONNECTION TO THE EXISTING 8 INCH WATER MAIN
PROVIDE A WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM WHEREBY INDIVIDUAL WATER SERVICES DO NOT PASS UNDER ADJOINING RESIDENCES.
- PROVIDE CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION SERVICES AND COORDINATE CONTRACTOR, PROPERTY MANAGER AND HOMEOWNER INTERACTION DURING CONSTRUCTION ON-SITE AND WITHIN INDIVIDUAL RESIDENTIAL UNITS.
- MINIMIZE DISRUPTION OF WATER SERVICE TO THE RESIDENTS OF BELCOURT AT HIDDEN LAKE.
UNIQUE OR UNUSUAL DESIGN FEATURES:
- THE REQUIREMENT THAT INDIVIDUAL SERVICES NOT BE INSTALLED BELOW ADJOINING RESIDENTIAL UNITS.
- THE SHALLOW INSTALLATION DEPTH OF SOME OF THE EXISTING SERVICES WHICH PROHIBITED A TYPICAL PIPE BURSTING APPROACH.
- UNITS WITH ENTRANCES OFF OF INTERIOR COURTYARDS REQUIRED THAT THE
- WATER SERVICES BE BROUGHT INTO THE COURTYARD AREA AND THEN BRANCHED UNDER THE FOUNDATIONS AND UNIT SLABS AND INTO THE INDIVIDUAL UNITS.
- CONFINED COURTYARD AREAS AND RESTRICTED ACCESS TO THE COURTYARDS PREVENTING STANDARD EXCAVATION EQUIPMENT FROM BEING UTILIZED.
- SLATE AND/OR ROCK OUTCROPS ENCOUNTERED.
- EXISTING WATER METERS WERE HOUSED IN SMALL MECHANICAL CLOSETS IN THE BATHROOMS OF THE EXTERIOR UNITS AND BELOW THE STAIRS OF THE INTERIOR UNITS. ACCORDINGLY THE CONTRACTOR HAD TO HAND EXCAVATE THROUGH THE CONCRETE SLABS AT SUFFICIENT DEPTHS TO CONNECT THE NEW WATER SERVICE TO THE EXISTING METERS.
- UTILIZATION OF A DIRECTIONAL BORING MACHINE WITH REMOTE LOCATION CAPABILITIES WHICH ALLOWED THE CONTRACTOR TO DIRECT THE BORE BENEATH THE DEEP BUILDING FOOTING TO THE SMALL MECHANICAL CLOSETS LOCATED WITHIN THE UNITS.
- THE EXTERIOR UNITS AT THE ENTRANCE/EXIT OF THE COURTYARDS REQUIRED THE WATER SERVICES TO BE EXCAVATED BELOW THE FOOTING AND CONNECTED TO A VERTICAL SHAFT EXCAVATED FROM INSIDE THE PARTICULAR UNIT.
Construction, which included the excavation for over 7200 LF of water services; more than 2000 LF of bored water services; and the installation of over 1200 LF of 4" ductile iron pipe; was successfully completed with minimal disruption to the Belcourt residents in early 2010. In the successful completion of the Belcourt Water System Improvement Project, Mr. McClelland demonstrated the technical expertise, innovative thinking, flexible scheduling and strong communication skill required to facilitate the coordination of this multi-million dollar construction project between the Township of North Brunswick, the Contractor, the Property Management Company and the many residents of Belcourt at Hidden Lake.