Thames Basin Regional Water Interconnection

Engineering Consulting Support for Permit Applications

Having worked with water utilities in southeastern Connecticut for a number of years, GeoInsight Inc. understood some of the challenges associated with moving water from Groton Utilities through the town of Ledyard then into Montville to meet the needs of the town of Montville and the Mohegan Sun Casino complex.  GeoInsight began our involvement with the Thames Basin Regional Water Interconnection Project in early 2002.  Our initial involvement was to provide engineering consulting support to complete the permit applications necessary to move water from Groton to Montville.  As time went on the client began to integrate GeoInsight staff into the overall project working closely with the design engineers and the contractors tasked with building the project elements.

 

Overcoming Political, Administrative, and Technical Hurdles

The political and administrative aspects of the project were as challenging as the technical hurdles.  GeoInsight’s role was to provide answers to the technical and permitting questions raised at the round table discussions that often included as many as 25 participants, including chief elected officials, attorneys, engineers, and the staff and commissions of the utilities and local water boards.  Upon completion of a comprehensive alternatives analysis the crossing of the Thames River, a critical project element would not be possible utilizing existing highway bridges.  The client decided to cross the Thames River at an optimal point both from a hydraulic and financial standpoint utilizing Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD).  

 

State and Federal Permitting

The technical challenges that the project faced were compounded when it was decided that the Ledyard and Montville systems would be connected via a 16 inch High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe.  As a result of the selected crossing route, additional permitting was required on the local, state, and federal level.  GeoInsight was tasked with handling the state and federal permitting and assisting the design engineer with the local permitting.

 

Commission of an On-site GeoInsight Project Manager in Response to Environmental Sensitivity

Due to the environmentally sensitive nature of the project and the high profile the client believed it was necessary to place the added precaution of having a GeoInsight project manager on the site during all HDD activities.  The GeoInsight project manager had the authority to stop the drilling as did various other contractors on site, but the GeoInsight project manager was the only individual on site with the authority of restarting the drilling.

 

The Project Involved the Construction Of:

  • an atmospheric storage tank;
  • a booster pumping station;
  • several meter vaults;
  • interconnecting water mains in Ledyard;
  • interconnecting water mains in Montville; and
  • the installation of 1400 feet of 16 inch HDPE pipe as much as 85 feet below the bottom of the Thames River.

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Relevant Tags

  • Permitting
  • water supply
  • public involvement