Fairfield spends $4 million on hardening project for wastewater treatment plant
FAIRFIELD — The town of Fairfield is moving forward with a project that aims to better protect its wastewater treatment plant from coastal flooding from large storms and sea level rise.
According to a press release from First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick, the project will cost a total of $7.4 million but $3.33 million will be funded through a grant from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Developments’ (US HUD) Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery.
The release said the project will project the town’s “most critical capital asset against the 500-year coastal flood event and from future projected sea level rise.”
“The proposed flood control structure consists of over 2,400 feet of cantilevered steel sheet pile walls that will surround not only the WWTP but the Regional Fire Training Facility, the Animal Control Shelter and the Conservation Workshop Building,” the release said.
Per the release, the project will also involve raising portions of Richard White Way that will be incorporated into the flood control structure. Additionally, it said two storm water pump stations will be constructed within the protected area to remove rain water buildup.
Tighe and Bond Engineers from Shelton are the design engineers and inspectors while Holzner Electric Construction Company in Bridgeport has been selected as the construction contractor for this project.
According to the release, the project is scheduled to be finished by the end of September. It said the two has been working on acquiring funding and permits for more than five years.
“Permitting for this project was received from the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and both the Town of Fairfield Inland Wetlands Agency and Town Plan and Zoning Commission,” the release said.
The release added that the project will also serve to protect the micro grid currently under construction on the site. It said the $2.81 million project, which aims to provide power to the plant via fuel cells, solar arrays and natural gas generators during power outages, should be completed by spring of 2021. That project is entirely funded through US HUD.
Brian Carey, the interim director of public works, said the project began on Feb. 9. He said the project fulfills federal requirements.
“They are mobilizing and have started to remove vegetation in anticipation of the flood protection wall. The plant needs to be protected from the 500-year coastal storm prior or the Town would be required to upgrade the plant to make it FEMA resistant,” Carey said.
Additional information regarding the project, including a detailed schedule, can be found on the Town of Fairfield website: https://www.fairfieldct.org/sewer.