Windermere discusses plans for potable water system

A potential three-phase approach to implementing water services throughout the town could cost a little more than $10 million.

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  • | 1:56 p.m. May 20, 2020
  • Southwest Orange
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Windermere leaders are taking another step forward in the process of bringing potable water services to the town.

During the May 12 Town Council meeting, council members were presented with a potential master plan for such services. 

Mike Demko, senior project manager at utility engineering consulting firm Wade Trim, walked town leaders through a proposed three-phase plan — a north phase, a central phase and a south phase.

Demko said the team developed and calibrated a hydraulic model to analyze the existing system and found it had sufficient pressure, but there were some fire flow limitations.

“We developed two future scenarios with the hydraulic model to look first at filling all of the town within the town limits, and then also looking at some of these areas directly adjacent to the town to see how this expansion would affect those areas, as well,” Demko said. “What we determined was that these connection points have sufficient flow for the area. Orange County Utilities can provide that flow. What we also see is that the main trunks through the town — and actually most of the lines within the town — that are existing are sized adequately in order to allow expansions off those main lines.” 

The interface between the three phases was chosen in part because there will be no crossover between contracts, Demko said, and each phase is roughly of equal scale. The north phase includes 376 parcels, the central phase has 223 and the south phase has 241 parcels.

The north phase, he said, contains the only area within town limits that Wade Trim’s analysis showed a water-age concern. This is located along Bayshore Drive.

“That’s one where during final design we would want to look at putting in an automatic flushing device, perhaps, at the end,” Demko said. “There are other spots within the town that during final design you may want to put one in — not necessarily for age issues but because flushing of the distribution systems is a good practice.”

Demko said in the central phase, Sunset Lane would have to be upsized for fire flows. In the south phase, there are two to three areas that also need for be upsized for fire flows. While some of the town currently is equipped with fire hydrants, there still is a large portion that is not.

“In addition, some of the existing hydrants — according to the modeling under worst-case scenario — may not have the fire flow required for the size of the homes,” he said. “The vast majority of the homes are below 9,800 square feet — which would require 2,000 gallons per minute — and that’s a flow that I believe can be met pretty much throughout the entire town. When it comes to the larger homes, there are a handful of larger homes that do require higher flows.”

The estimated total cost of all three phases would be $10,281,000, which is based on roughly $15,841 per connection for 649 new connections. 

Town leaders also received some suggestions for major funding programs that could help keep the overall implementation cost down. 

Council members voted unanimously to give town staff direction to move forward with a draft water plan.


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