The fertile “muckland” where the Town of Elba lies has supported people and agriculture for over 200 years. With its bucolic scenery and rich soil, you would never think accessible, safe water was ever a concern here. But with a growing desire for public water and continuing legacy of farming, picturesque Elba needed help to ensure clean water for all.
The community had no public water system of their own, leaving residents and farmers reliant on private wells for water, which at times, bore serious quantity and quality concerns. With critical improvements needed and a reliable long-term solution sought, CPL was engaged to develop a public water plan for the Town.
The project kicked-off with extensive collaboration and outreach involving community officials, residents and farmers, the funding agency, and other stakeholders to develop an efficient, durable, cost-effective solution. A safe, dependable water supply, fire protection, increased marketability, timely completion, and an economical solution were among Elba’s top priorities.
CPL Civil Engineer and Project Manager, Jason Foote, P.E., explained, “We knew we could provide the best options and implementation plan to provide safe, clean public water to all residents of the Town and at an affordable cost for everyone.”
It was determined that the most effective, long-term solution for Elba would be to create a large town-wide water district to include all remaining areas of the Town that were not already served with public water. This nimble decision kicked off a dynamic, seven-phase project approach, completed within just three years, which introduced over 50 miles of water main pipe, 500+ service connections, and a new, elevated, 750,000-gallon water storage tank that was constructed in support of the new water system.
Although the water storage tank is the most visible component of Elba’s new water system, it is only part of a significantly broader, more impactful effort that has greatly enriched Town life and the surrounding area with a safe, consistent water system.
Collaborative efforts yielded additional enhancements, including water main pipe upsizing and water storage tank improvements for a separate, regional Genesee County Water Supply Project. An intermunicipal agreement (IMA) was also organized and created to share the costs of flushing water between the Town and Village water systems, eliminating the need for six costly master meter vaults.
The Town received a $3.8 million grant from USDA Rural Development, and at the time, the $18 million project was the largest such funded project in New York State.
It goes without saying, people cannot live without a dependable source of clean water. If you pause to consider it, simply turning a faucet takes on an entirely new meaning. Dexterity, resourcefulness, collaboration, and a deep-rooted passion for community are just some of the elements needed to enrich communities and open the tap for all.