Fairfield WWTP Coastal Resiliency

Project Highlights

  • Field Survey
  • Wetland Delineation
  • Permitting
  • Design Services
  • Resiliency Improvements

Hardening Protects Infrastructure from Coastal Storm Surge

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, portions of the Town of Fairfield’s Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and surrounding facilities were submerged in approximately 2 feet of water due to the coastal storm surge from Long Island Sound. The Town recognized the need to harden the WWTP against future flood events that have been exacerbated by climate change, and utilized newly-created state and federal funding sources to design and construct a flood control structure that will protect the WWTP and surrounding critical infrastructure from future storm events.

The project, designed by our engineers, included the construction of an earthen berm and stormwater pump station to protect the WWTP and surrounding critical infrastructure, while also raising portions of Richard White Way that intersect with the WWTP hardening berm. Combined, these projects allowed the Town of Fairfield to provide access into the WWTP during a FEMA 500-year flood event while maintaining a continuous flood control structure.

The proposed construction of a floodwall ringing the plant created a “bathtub effect” that would trap rainfall and runoff within the plant if coupled with a high tide or storm surge. The topography of the site created two distinct low-lying areas that would be most frequently prone to flooding at the furthest north and south areas of project. To address this internal flooding risk, two stormwater pump stations were designed to discharge stormwater collected within the floodwall area.

Tighe & Bond provided environmental permitting services for the resiliency improvements and prepared applications to FEMA for potential project funding. Also included in the project scope was the preparation of an Environmental Review Record for the hardening project as well as a microgrid installation project, which included completion of a NEPA Environmental Assessment Checklist and development of the 8 Step Process documents for work in the floodplain.

The WWTP Resiliency Project has also enabled the Town of Fairfield to pursue a parallel resiliency project that included the installation of a Microgrid serving the WWTP and adjacent facilities. The Microgrid project consisted of the installation of cogeneration and microgrid equipment at four critical facilities for the purpose of storm hardening and operability during extended electrical grid outages.

Services Snapshot

Tighe & Bond provided design, permitting, and construction phase services to the Town of Fairfield in support of the Fairfield WWTP Resiliency Improvement Project.


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