In order to maintain clean drinking water for Upstate New York communities whose system had long been polluted by a General Electric manufacturing plant, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was forced to look elsewhere.

Hudson River PCBs Alternative Drinking Water Supplies - Upstate N.Y.

The $10 million Hudson River PCBs Alternative Drinking Water Supplies project brought potable water from Troy, N.Y. to Waterford and Halfmoon and a carbon filtration system to Stillwater – all in New York – to ensure residents had clean drinking water while crews dredged the Hudson River to remove 1.3-million pounds of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

“We’re providing a safe source of water for these people,” says Dave Rosoff, project manager with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, which oversaw the clean up.

The project was ancillary to the EPA’s dredging of a 40-mile stretch of the Hudson River for PCBs, scheduled to start in May 2009. The dredging project will be the largest ever undertaken in the country.

AECOM of Latham, N.Y., provided project management, construction management, general contractor, system operations and maintenance services. Construction began in fall 2008, and the company completed the work in March 2009.

“We were told after we finished the work that we had been given a 1 in 25 chance of getting it done,” says project manager Patricia Flores.

AECOM’s first task involved constructing a 6-million gallons per day, 4.6 mile, 24-in and 16-inch diameter ductile iron and high density polyethylene pipeline from Troy to the communities of Waterford and Halfmoon. This required drilling below the Hudson. H & H Directional Drilling of Bemus Point, N.Y., performed that work.

A Vermeer trencher was used to trench in solid rock about 5 ft beneath the city streets to avoid disruption to the business owners and residents and, ultimately, save time and money.

The pipeline traverses a closed sanitary landfill and wetlands, which were restored. To cross the landfill without disturbing it and to preserve the quality of the water in the new pipeline, the team placed an inner berm and then an outer berm once the pipe was in. AECOM placed crusher run atop the completed pipeline outer berm, creating a bicycle/recreational path. A precautionary liner was placed under the pipeline.

When the pipeline crossed an industrial silicone plant’s property, known to possess high levels of soil and groundwater contamination, AECOM bagged the pipeline with a poly liner and each joint was covered with flowable fill, completely encasing the joints to prevent infiltration into the pipeline.

The company also constructed a 0.67-mgd, granular-activated carbon treatment system for the community of Stillwater.Construction of the system included a new concrete foundation and a steel enclosure building.

Key Players

Owner: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, New York
General Contractor: AECOM, Latham, N.Y.
Project Design Firm: Malcolm Pirnie, White Plains N.Y.
Granular-activated Carbon Contractor: Rozell East, Hudson Falls, N.Y.
Directional Drilling Contractor: H & H Directional Drilling, Young Harris, Ga.
Pipeline Contractor: W.M. Schultz Construction, Ballston Spa, N.Y.