BCWA and City of East Providence team up on $6.9M backup water pipeline


March 9, 2021


Stephen Coutu                                                                                            

Executive Director & Chief Engineer, BCWA                                              

(401) 245-2022                                                                                         


Patricia Resende

Office of the Mayor

Dir. of Communications & Project Management



BCWA and City of East Providence team up on backup water pipeline to provide safe, reliable water to residents and businesses

EAST PROVIDENCE, RI – The Bristol County Water Authority (BCWA) has teamed up with the City of East Providence on a new $6.9 million emergency backup water pipeline.

The project will link the BCWA East Bay Pipeline with the East Providence water system at the Kent Heights water storage facilities. It will provide an emergency water supply from Providence Water to either utility.

“This new emergency water connection is a critical component to the resiliency of our regional water supplies,” said Stephen Coutu, P.E., executive director and chief engineer for BCWA. “We look forward to our continued collaboration with the City of East Providence.”

“We are absolutely thrilled to finalize this project and are eager for BCWA to begin construction of this much-needed emergency pipeline,” Mayor Bob DaSilva said. “Now more than ever, it’s important that we work together to provide our residents and businesses with an uninterrupted flow of clean, safe and reliable water.”

The water infrastructure project is essential for both BCWA and the City of East Providence, as it will establish a backup water supply. If something should happen to either utility’s pipeline, both will still be able to provide safe, reliable water to its customers.

BCWA is funding the $6,909,780 project and East Providence is providing support and assistance with traffic control during construction.

BCWA will begin construction on the new water main and emergency interconnection on April 5, 2021 and will begin at two sites: Pawtucket Avenue and Elder Avenue.

The agreement comes after BCWA experienced two leaks in April 2019 in its East Bay Pipeline. The leaks were unexpected and took more than six months to identify, access and repair. During that time, the existing East Providence interconnection was used selectively with activated water restrictions, as it is not able to supply enough water to support both utilities’ full distribution needs.

The new water main and connection, which was already being designed prior to the East Bay Pipeline leak, will be larger and able to provide a greater backup supply of water if such a need should arise in the future for either utility.

Pipeline construction:

CB Utilities of Bristol, RI will install approximately 1.5 miles of 24” pipeline from the emergency pump station on Pawtucket Avenue to the East Providence water storage facilities at Kent Heights.

Work is being planned to minimize traffic disturbances where possible. Construction crossing Pawtucket Avenue will be performed at night. Work on Dover Avenue in the area of Kent Heights Elementary School will be performed during the summer months when school is not in session.

Work is scheduled to be ongoing for the 2021 construction season. Upon completion of the pipeline construction, all impacted East Providence streets will be repaved curb to curb.

Route design – further details:

The design of the new water main was a collaborative effort between the design engineer, Beta Engineering, BCWA and the City of East Providence. Several routes were evaluated and factors including constructability, traffic, business aspects and cost were considered.

Construction will begin in the area of the emergency pump station on Pawtucket Avenue. It will then cross Pawtucket Avenue to Village Green South and continue onto Squire Lane to Village Green North. The pipeline will then travel north across the Citizens Bank parking lot and cross through East Providence property. Continuing onto Elder Avenue, the pipeline will turn west onto Wampanoag Trail and then north again onto Dover Avenue. The pipeline will end at the Kent Heights tank facilities on Greenwich Avenue.

Continued updates:

Regular pipeline project updates will be posted on the BCWA (bcwari.com) and City of East Providence (https://www.eastprovidenceri.gov) websites. Additionally, residents and businesses affected by the construction will be notified directly prior to its start.




For more information, please contact the BCWA at 401-245-2022