Space Center Revitalization Project Upgrades Water & Pipes

By  //  March 9, 2013

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Work Essential For Facility's Future

BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – Water has played a prominent role in mission success during the 50 years Kennedy Space Center has been around. 

A new 12-inch water main is being installed as part of a water/wastewater revitalizing plan at Kennedy Space Center. Work on Phase 4 will continue until the fall of 2014. (Image courtesy of NASA/Tim Jacobs)

Released during launches to dampen the acoustic sound levels, it’s been there flowing when we needed it most.

A majority of the components of the center’s water and wastewater system are now 50 years old, too, thus exceeding their designed life expectancy.

In 2004, engineers began working on a plan to improve Kennedy’s water quality, replace aging system pipes and lift stations, and reduce excessive water flushing.

“With aging pipes come failures such as main breaks, sewage spills and poor water quality,” said Kevin Miller, project manager with NASA’s Construction of Facilities Division. “These failures are becoming progressively more serious and costly and cause great disruptions to the center’s institutional and programmatic operations.”

So they came up with the Revitalize KSC Water and Wastewater Systems Plan.

Many things have changed since the initial construction of Kennedy’s water distribution and sewer collection systems, including stricter water-quality standards, increased fire-suppression requirements, and numerous facility and program changes. These factors, combined with system components that had exceeded their designed life expectancy, necessitated centerwide changes.

“These planned projects are significantly improving our water quality, system reliability, and our systems capacity and flexibility, all while reducing maintenance costs,” Miller said. “It had been a long time coming.”

The project has five planned phases.

Phase 1 ran from August 2007 to September 2008 with a $1.9 million construction contract value. This phase included numerous studies to identify issues and provide solutions to repair water and waste-water infrastructure across Kennedy. Construction included repairs to the W1 pump station, the main pump station for Kennedy; backflow preventers; and water meters.

Phase 2, which was completed from August 2010 to October 2011, had a $1.5 million construction contract value. This phase included replacement water main valves, a new water main on A Avenue, installation of water meters, replacement of individual facility service water lines, installation of a new water quality analyzer, and repairs and upgrades to four lift stations.

Phase 3, which is 85 percent finished, started in September 2011 and has a $9.1 million construction contract value. It is targeted for completion in spring 2013. This phase began as a major revitalization effort to replace degraded pipelines with 12.8 miles of replacement water mains, 3.2 miles of repairs to gravity sewer mains, and repairs and upgrades to nine sewage lift stations. This included the deconstruction of a water tower in the Launch Complex 39 area.

Phase 4, which is 15 percent completed and has a $22.3 million construction contract value, was started in October 2012. It is scheduled to be completed in fall 2014. This phase builds upon previous phases and is the largest in scope with 22.5 miles of replacement water main, 4.5 miles of replacement sewer force main, and repairs and upgrades to 58 sewage lift stations.

Phase 5, to be designed later this year, is scheduled to run from summer 2015 to fall 2016 and will be funded for construction in Fiscal Year 2015. This is the last phase and includes additional water main replacement, replacement of water and sewer infrastructure at KARS Park, and a replacement pump station.

“The water systems proposed for replacement are a critical component of the KSC fire system as well,” Miller said, “and vital to mission readiness and success.”