April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Strand reports completion of Hope water system project

By HSJ Online [email protected]

Strand Associates says that the Town of Hope water system improvement project is complete this week.

The company issued a press release Wednesday announcing that the work was completed to replace 2.6 miles of water main around the town and to add a secondary, emergency connection to Eastern Bartholomew Water Corp.

The press release from Strand:

HOPE, Ind. - The Town of Hope's major water main replacement project reached final completion this week, after beginning construction early this year. The project replaced approximately 14,000 feet of aging 80-year-old water main, 90 percent of which was under the town's local streets, and added a second emergency connection to the wholesaler who supplies the town's water. By replacing the water main, the town has reduced its purchased water amount by nearly 20 percent (40,000 gallons per day), as many of the pipes that were replaced had been leaking and contributing to the town's water loss.

Before committing to the replacement project, Hope hired Strand Associates, Inc.® in 2014 to complete a comprehensive study of the town's water system. The results of the study identified numerous water main breaks, primarily in the older areas of town, and explained that Hope was losing 45 percent of the water it purchased to the ground. The study also identified potential locations for an emergency connection to Hope's water supplier. In 2008, a major storm also occurred, causing the water supplier to lose pressure in the zone that feeds Hope's system and leaving the Town of Hope without water for 3 days since there was no secondary connection in a different zone.

In the Preliminary Engineering Report, Strand Associates recommended three possible solutions to the town's aging system and water loss issues, ranging in cost and comprehensiveness. Despite the steeper cost initially, the Town recognized the importance of replacing as many pipes as it could to reduce water loss and thus cut long-term costs. The Town hired Strand Associates to design the most comprehensive solution it had proposed, which replaced nearly 95 percent of the water mains that had developed breaks over the previous decade. In addition, since the majority of water main replaced was beneath roads, several local roads were milled and resurfaced at the time of construction, reducing future construction costs by ensuring the roads would remain in good condition for years to come.

"We're already seeing a dividend, day-to-day," said J.T. Doane, the Town Manager for Hope. "The amount of water we're saving is phenomenal, and it's crystal clear that this process has increased efficiency and this larger undertaking was the best solution to repair the system."

Also as part of the project, Strand Associates worked with the Town of Hope to obtain funding and to develop a long-term plan to finance the rest of the replacement project, and any future projects. The Town received a $600,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and a $2.2 million loan from Indiana State Revolving Fund (SRF) of which approximately $925,000 was issued as a forgivable loan. In all, nearly 50 percent of project costs were financed through the grant and forgivable loan, significantly reducing the amount that the Town needed to increase its water rates. Though the rate has increased to roughly $50 per 4,000 gallons, the Town will now have the funds it needs to replace the other remaining 15,000 feet of aging water main before major breaks occur, and it will be able to finance ongoing water main maintenance projects, as needed.

"We are very thankful for receiving the funding that we did," said Diane Burton, Hope's Clerk Treasurer. "I cannot express how much we appreciate it and how much it helped keep our water rate at a more reasonable cost. Strand Associates has been very helpful in all aspects of the water project, including helping us provide what was needed to apply for funding and grants."[[In-content Ad]]