Press Release: BCWA - East Provicence emergency interconnection bid awarded

Public Notice
Contact: Pam Marchand
Executive Director and Chief Engineer, BCWA
(401) 245-2022 ext.18 |
BCWA-East Providence Emergency Interconnection Bid Awarded
New water transmission main will connect the BCWA and East Providence water supplies for shared emergency use. Construction work to begin this fall.

Warren, RI – August 31, 2020 – Bristol County Water Authority (BCWA) is moving forward with the construction of a new emergency interconnection with the City of East Providence water supply. The new water transmission main will link the two East Providence Cross-Bay Pipelines and the BCWA East Bay Pipeline to provide an emergency water supply from Providence Water to either utility.
On August 27, the BCWA Board of Directors awarded the construction bid to CB Utilities of Bristol, RI. CB Utilities will construct a 24” pipeline from the BCWA Providence Water interconnection on Pawtucket Ave to the East Providence water tank at Kent Heights. The bid was awarded was for $6,909,780. Construction is expected to begin this fall.
“BCWA is looking forward to our continued work with the City of East Providence and CB Utilities to establish this critical emergency connection between our two water supplies,” said Pam Marchand, executive director and chief engineer for BCWA. “As we saw just last year, unexpected situations can occur with any water utility. We must ensure we have the proper infrastructure in place to always provide our customers with clean, safe, and reliable water at all times. We thank the City of East Providence for their continued collaboration on this important project for all of our shared constituents.”
The design of the pipeline was already in progress last year when BCWA experienced two unexpected leaks in its East Bay Pipeline. The leaks were 170 feet below the Providence River, inside a rock tunnel. They 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 BCWA’s full distribution needs. (Nor would it supply East Providence’s full needs in the opposite situation.) As a result, BCWA was forced to continue to leave its pipeline in operation through the summer until a new 18” PVC pipe was installed inside the 24” steel pipe last October. The new interconnection being constructed will be larger and able to provide a greater backup supply of water if such a need should arise in the future.
The new interconnection is also the first phase of construction in BCWA’s plans to establish an alternate connection and a backup supply of water from the Pawtucket Water Supply Board. This would allow BCWA to draw water from two separate, fully independent supplies - Pawtucket Water and Providence Water – should a system failure or other loss of supply occur. BCWA would be able to meet its customers’ full demand as well as ensure fire flow pressure and continuity of the utility.
About BCWA
The Bristol County Water Authority (BCWA) was formed in 1984 by the Rhode Island legislature. In 1986, it began managing the Barrington, Bristol, and Warren water supply system, previously managed by the Bristol County Water Company (BCWC) that traced its origins back to 1883.
Since assuming the responsibility of the region’s water supply, BCWA has made significant investments to maintain and modernize the utility while adapting operational efficiencies. Today, BCWA provides an average of 3 to 3.5 million gallons per day of reliable, quality water to its approximately 17,000 service connections, including its commercial users and 49,875 residents. Learn more at