NORWICH – On Monday, Senator Richard Blumenthal announced that Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) will receive $1.6 million to support two critical projects as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 federal budget signed into law in December.

Before a group of NPU employees, Senator Blumenthal announced that $800,000 will be provided through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the Poquetanuck Cove Crossing Water Interconnection; $800,000 will also be provided to support NPU’s work of re-lining sewer mains in the Greeneville section of Norwich.

The requests were included by Senators Blumenthal and Chris Murphy as part of their Congressionally Directed Spending requests.

“This $1.6 million will make critical upgrades to Norwich Public Utilities’ infrastructure – providing additional sources of water for the region’s residents and reducing untreated sewage discharges into the Shetucket and Thames Rivers. This federal investment in our communities’ infrastructure is a significant step to protect our waterways. I am thrilled to join Norwich Public Utilities to celebrate this funding that is addressing critical needs in Norwich.  I will keep fighting to deliver more funding for these vital community projects.”

“NPU is grateful for the time and efforts of Senators Blumenthal and Murphy to secure this funding for our community. These projects will improve public safety and water quality in our region, while modernizing and upgrading our infrastructure,” said Chris LaRose, General Manager of NPU. “On behalf of our employees and the residents of Norwich, we thank Senator Blumenthal for his ongoing support of NPU.”

Construction on both projects is expected to begin before Memorial Day with work likely completed before the end of 2023.

The Poquetanuck Cove Crossing Water Interconnection

This project will connect the 1,220-foot gap between the Groton and Norwich water systems at the Preston/Ledyard border and is a joint project between Groton Utilities (GU) and NPU.

This emergency water interconnection will provide the region’s water systems with a vitally needed second connection that would provide additional hydraulic capacity in the event of the need to move water from one system to another. It will also provide an invaluable, second access point if the Thames River crossing became compromised for any reason.

As a result, the project will strengthen the resiliency of the water supply for the communities of Groton, Ledyard, Norwich, Montville, Waterford, New London, East Lyme, Lisbon, Franklin, and Sprague.

This project will provide the region with an additional interconnection between the region’s two largest municipal water suppliers, Groton Utilities (GU) and Norwich Public Utilities (NPU), for the movement of water during emergency situations.

NPU’s sewer main re-lining in Greeneville

The Greeneville section of Norwich contains 3 active CSOs (Combined Sewer Overflows) locations. Currently, there are 11 active CSO discharge points in Norwich remaining, down from 14 in 2019. CSOs are sewers that are designed to collect rainwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater in the same pipe.

During heavy rain events, all three of the Greeneville CSOs discharge directly to the Shetucket River that converges with the Thames River in Norwich Harbor.

Greeneville has roughly 21,000 feet of sewer pipes, installed between 1886 and 1950; all of this pipe is in desperate need of replacement or rehabilitation.

The existing pipes in question allow for a significant amount of “inflow and infiltration” which can overtax the combined flow pipe network during significant rain events; this results in more frequent overflows with larger volumes of combined discharge.

The liner will essentially install a new pipe within the existing “host” pipe; the liner will remove rain and groundwater from the pipe network which in turn will provide more capacity in the pipe network.

More capacity in the pipe network means that the dry and wet weather sewer flows will be more easily conveyed to the NPU wastewater treatment plant for treatment in lieu of discharging to the Shetucket River when pipe capacity is surpassed.

NPU anticipates a reduction of 6,000,000 gallons of combined discharge to the Shetucket River annually with the completion of the Greeneville sewer re-lining projects.