Oak Bluffs $4 million water project nearly complete

The new pump relay station, located near the "blinker" intersection, is expected to improve water pressure in Oak Bluffs. — Photo by Steve Myrick

The Oak Bluffs Water District is nearing completion of a $4 million improvement project that includes nearly three miles of new water mains, new hydrants, and a pumping relay station to improve water pressure in a large part of the town.

“That whole area has very low water pressure,” Larry Bombara, a consultant on the project, told The Times on Wednesday morning. “We have poor fire protection, because of the elevation.”

The last part of the project is the pumping station, near the four-way stop intersection of Barnes Road and Edgartown Vineyard-Haven road.

Above ground is a generator, propane tank, and utility pole with communications equipment.

Below ground is a large room that houses four new pumps. Two of the pumps will be sufficient to improve water pressure to homes and businesses. In case of a fire or sudden demand for water, two additional pumps will start automatically.

A chain link fence and concrete barriers that now surround the equipment will be removed, Mr. Bombara said. The generator and propane tank will be surrounded by vandal-proof fencing, and contractors will screen the installation with shrubbery or additional fencing.

Construction will be complete and engineers expect to turn on the pumps within two weeks. The entire project is scheduled for completion in May.

Voters approved the project at the water district annual meeting, held just before the annual town meeting, in 2009.