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Stantec to conduct water infrastructure risk and resilience assessment for City of Asheville, North Carolina

Leading global design and engineering firm Stantec has been selected by the City of Asheville, North Carolina to provide professional engineering services to support the city in fulfilling the requirements of America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA).

Signed into law in October 2018, the AWIA requires community water systems serving more than 3,300 people to complete an RRA to identify vulnerabilities in their water infrastructure and determine its resilience. The  law requires communities to investigate vulnerabilities and implement solutions to better protect their area’s drinking water assets and services. The firm will conduct and certify a risk and resilience assessment (RRA) and develop an emergency response plan (ERP) that outlines strategies and procedures to address potential hazards.

The law also mandates that these communities develop an ERP that outlines strategies and resources to better protect water assets and services against physical and cybersecurity threats.

The AWIA establishes a grant program to provide federal assistance for resiliency improvements to water systems nationwide. In addition to the RRA and ERP, Stantec will also update the city’s water system management plan (WSMP) to include the policy and procedure changes developed during the project.

“Our experience working on water treatment, distribution and management system projects for Asheville has provided us with an in-depth understanding of the city’s water infrastructure and the needs of the community,” said Nicholas Dierkes, senior associate and project manager at Stantec. “By drawing on our extensive experience in resilience, risk assessment, and water system management, our team will help the city comply with the AWIA requirements and deliver plans that will strengthen and protect its water systems for years to come.”

The Stantec team will work with its subconsultants Merrick & Company and Ellum Engineering to assess the resilience of city’s water infrastructure, including pipes and constructed conveyances, physical barriers, source water, water collection and intake, storage and distribution facilities, and electronic, computer, and automated systems.

The team will also investigate possible risks from malicious acts and natural disasters, including terrorism, theft, vandalism, and hurricanes. Additionally, Stantec will monitor and evaluate the system practices, operations, and maintenance, as well as the financial infrastructure, as it relates to utility billing and accounts. The RRA is scheduled to be completed by March 31, 2020.

Following the completion of the RRA, Stantec will work closely with the city to identify improvement methods to mitigate consequences, reduce damage risks, and curb threats.

Stantec will use these findings to develop the ERP, which will provide city staff with clear guidance on mitigating, managing, and responding to vulnerabilities in its water infrastructure. The plan will also include actions and procedures to reduce the impact of a malevolent act or natural disaster on public health and the safety and supply of drinking water to the community. The ERP is slated to be complete by September 30, 2020.

 

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