The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) recently awarded $6,099,691 to the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (VIWMA) for a dual-phase force main construction project.
Force mains are pipelines that transport wastewater to a discharge point. Pumps or compressors located in lift stations then provide the energy for wastewater to travel through force mains.
Updates to these systems should eliminate sewer back-up, overflows and uncontrolled sewer releases caused by peak flow conditions, thereby addressing longstanding sewage issues in downtown Frederiksted.
“The project provides an opportunity for the Authority to upgrade aged infrastructure. Funding includes provisions for the Authority to design and construct a new sewer network to industry standards. Once completed the reoccurring failures to the force main will be reduced and will lessen negative environmental impacts during a force main break. The installation of isolation valves will also decrease repair response time,” said Adrian Wade Taylor, interim executive director of the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority.
Funding for Phase I (Lagoon Street Force Main No. 2 Technical and Feasibility Assessment and Engineering Design) of the project has been obligated in the amount of $472,670 and allows for the initial architectural and engineering studies and design for the construction of the valve pit that will connect the existing lift stations to the proposed and currently existing force main.
“Building a resilient infrastructure calls for the strengthening of our underground systems,” Adrienne L. Williams-Octalien, Office of Disaster Recovery director. “The Lagoon Street Force Main No. 2 project will repair breaks in the line extinguishing the strong odor that resonates throughout the Lagoon area when stagnant wastewater builds up.”
Once Phase I is complete, FEMA will review the deliverables and consider the additional funding for Phase II (Construction) at $5,627,021, the construction portion of the project. The scope includes 9,844 LF of 20-inch force main to support the existing force main that serves the Lagoon Street lift station and the installation of valves at Lagoon Street, King Cross Street, Queen Cross Street, and Concordia Road, ending at a gravity sewer manhole just north of Centerline Road.
VIWMA is required to submit quarterly reports that reflect the status, completion date, and any problems or circumstances affecting project deliverables.