The Town of Cumberland, RI supplies drinking water to residents and businesses using five different sources, including two well fields, a surface water supply and purchase agreements with two adjacent Public Water Systems. Woodard & Curran was selected in 2005 to provide as-needed engineering services relative to the Town’s water system. Since that time, we have assisted the Town in providing high quality water to residents and businesses by methodically identifying and resolving water supply, treatment, and distribution system issues. We have helped the Town implement a wide variety of improvements to increase the overall reliability, redundancy and efficiency of the water system.
Our team developed a GIS-based hydraulic computer model of Cumberland’s water distribution system that allowed the Cumberland Water Department to efficiently review and analyze the benefits and impacts from various system modifications and the addition of new customers, helping the department make informed choices for their system as their community and water supply change. Based on the hydraulic model and our evaluations of the water system, we also worked with the Town to design and construct a variety of critical infrastructure upgrades, including improvements to the Town’s surface water treatment facility, water mains, supply wells and booster pumping stations. These improvements have improved plant efficiency and ensured ongoing regulatory compliance, reduced customer complaints arising from flow reversal, improved the yield of groundwater supplies, and reduced energy costs associated with pumping. We also helped the Town complete a system-wide water meter replacement program that involved implementing an automatic fixed-network meter reading system, allowing remote, real-time monitoring of customer usage and greatly reducing staff time required to manually collect meter readings from the Town’s 8,200 customers.
Most recently, the Town decided to investigate additional groundwater supplies to reduce its dependency on the municipal interconnections as well as to support future use and emergency conditions. We helped the Town with a preliminary screening of available sites, both short and long term pumping tests, and development of regulatory permit applications for four new groundwater supply wells. Additional groundwater supply capacity will eliminate the Town’s reliance on adjacent suppliers and their existing surface water plant, greatly reducing the cost of water provided to the Town’s customers.