Middlesex Water Co. has been named a 2011 Management Innovation Award Winner by the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) for its horizontal directional drilling (HDD) project.

The NAWC Management Innovation Awards have been recognizing groundbreaking ideas at the forefront of the water industry for over 35 years. The award recognizes NAWC members for new and innovative programs that have benefitted their organization, their customers, the communities they serve or the water industry as a whole. Winners were announced at the 2011 NAWC Water Summit in La Jolla, Calif. in early October. Middlesex Water tied for First Prize with Baton Rouge Water Co. in the Regulated Utility category.

Middlesex Water Co. was recognized for its unique engineering approach to replacing a century-old water main beneath the Raritan River in New Jersey — a project that was honored as the 2010 Trenchless Technology Project of the Year for New Installation. The 104-year old main water main had served as a critical transmission main for customers in the southernmost portion of its distribution system but had faced repeated failures, despite various forms of rehabilitation, due to age, corrosivity and the unstable nature of the underwater environment. Middlesex Water explored various options including pipe jacking and microtunneling to install the mile-long, 24-in. diameter pipeline, 70 ft under a river through tough marshland conditions and in a largely urban area. It ultimately decided on HDD due to project conditions and cost-effectiveness.

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