Emergency rehab under the Passaic River

· Water, Water main, Utility, United States, New Jersey

4 parallel potable water mains


For more than a century, until 2013, seven 16” steel water mains conveyed drinking water from the main system in Belleville across the Passaic River to the neighboring North Arlington system, supplying both wholesale customers and residents in three towns.

Due to the river’s fluctuating tides and currents, the water mains never settled beneath the riverbed, but remained above it, subjecting them to constant harsh environmental and operational conditions. The result was major leaks and pressure loss that led the owner to decommission three of the seven water mains. The remaining four were rehabilitated with 12” HDPE IPS DR-11 liners and double-ball expansion joints at each water main connection to the Belleville main system, to allow for pipe movement.

In April 2023, however, the owner believed that the tidal forces of the river were putting sustained stress on the water mains, causing the HDPE liners to fail and creating an urgent emergency.

Special features

Annular space

After installation and inflation, an annular space is left between flexible fabric-reinforced pipe and host pipe. This space allows the FFRP to resist thermal expansion and seismic movement of the host pipe, while independently accommodating the system’s operating pressure.

Pipe’s location

Adding to the urgency of effectively and quickly rehabilitating the water mains was their difficult location close to the river, sidewalks and roads.

Technical details

Material of host pipe


Diameter of host pipe


Transported fluid

Potable water

Operating pressure

80 psi

Total length

4 x 550 feet

Number of sections

1 section

Number of bends

not applicable

Installation time

1 day

Why Primus Line®?

Small and few access pits

Minor installation footprint

Minimized service interruptions and impact on traffic

Pipeline lifetime extension by 50+ years

© photos: Passaic Valley Water Commission

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