Only 3% of the water on Earth is freshwater. Of that 3%, only 1% is available as drinking water. The other 2% is frozen in polar ice caps.
The Boston Water and Sewer Commission's (the Commission) Dudley Square Sewer Separation Project involves separating the combined sewer system in the Dudley Square area of Roxbury. The purpose of this project is to reduce pollution levels in Boston Harbor by substantially decreasing the number and volume of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) into the Fort Point Channel and Boston Harbor. The Commission is making the Dudley Square separation work a priority to accommodate redevelopment plans in the area.
Combined sewers are found in many older cities and carry both sanitary sewage and stormwater in the same pipe. During dry weather, sanitary flows are conveyed to interceptor sewers that transport the sewage flows to a wastewater treatment facility. During wet weather, the stormwater gradually takes up the greater portion of the space in the pipe and, depending upon the duration and intensity of the storm, may exceed the capacity of the combined sewer system. The excess combined flows are transported to overflow conduits that discharge into a local body of water, in this case the Fort Point Channel and Boston Harbor. The resulting discharge of both sanitary sewage and stormwater flows from these overflow pipes is known as a CSO (combined sewer overflow).
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Overflows from the Dudley Square area discharge to the Fort Point Channel through the BOS 070 outfall. This sewer separation project will replace the existing single combined system with two separate systems – one for sanitary sewage and one for stormwater. When construction is complete, sanitary sewage will be conveyed to the MWRA's Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant, while stormwater will be discharged to the Fort Point Channel via the Dorchester Brook Conduit resulting in a substantial reduction in CSOs. As a result, the impact on the Fort Point Channel and Boston Harbor from the harmful effects of pollution from CSOs will be substantially reduced.
In addition, the Commission is concurrently replacing water mains in the area to minimize impacts by reducing the need to return at a later date to complete the work.
The Dudley Square Sewer Separation Project encompasses an area roughly bounded by Melnea Cass Boulevard to the north, Washington Street to the west, Circuit Street and Whiting Street to the south and Dearborn Street and Albany Street to the east, including a portion of Hawthorne Street, Cedar Street, Thornton Street and Oakland Street and Malcolm X Park. A map of the project area is attached for reference. The area is home to residential neighborhoods, a vibrant small business district and commercial businesses.
The work includes installation of the following:
(Contract No. 11-309-009)
In addition to separating combined sewers in the street, this project will disconnect as many individual building downspouts and laterals from sewers as is cost effective. Building laterals are pipes that connect a building's internal plumbing to pipes in the street. Many older buildings in the area have an internal pipe that collects stormwater from the roof and discharges it into the building sewer lateral. Downspouts also collect stormwater from the roof in pipes that run down the sides of buildings. In some cases, these downspouts discharge into the sewer, rather than splashing to the ground. Since the purpose of this project is to remove as much stormwater from the sewer system as possible, these building downspouts will be disconnected, where feasible. This work will be coordinated individually with building owners, as necessary.
Temporary restoration of roadways, sidewalks and other areas disturbed by construction will be completed under this contract. Permanent restoration will occur under a separate paving contract.
The Commission is committed to working closely with the Mayor's Office; elected officials; Boston Public Works Department (BPWD), Boston Transportation Department (BTD) and other City departments; the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority; the MWRA and other public and private utility companies; state and federal regulatory agencies; and, most importantly, with abutters to ensure the project is successfully completed. Extensive coordination with National Grid and NSTAR will be required to facilitate utility relocations or replacements, as necessary. Effective coordination will also help mitigate many short-term construction related impacts that may be associated with the project.
The Commission will adhere to all city and state regulations and ordinances governing construction in public roadways. All dust, debris and excavate will be strictly controlled and monitored.
The Commission is committed to a proactive community relations program during construction of this project. The program is designed to keep residents, businesses and elected officials informed about the project by holding public meetings, placing notices in local newspapers and posting updates on the project webpage, which can be found on the Commission's website at www.bwsc.org. Prior to the start of construction, public meetings will be held to introduce the contractor and provide specific information and anticipated schedules for upcoming work. In addition, before construction begins on a street, a notice will be sent in the mail announcing the work to be performed on the street. Project staff will meet periodically with residents, businesses, civic groups, and elected officials to provide updates, as requested or appropriate. Commission staff will work closely with affected neighborhoods regarding issues such as pedestrian and vehicular traffic management, access to residences and business establishments, and maintaining access for deliveries and trash and snow removal.
For further information or questions please contact the following:
Boston Water and Sewer Commission - 617-989-7000
Irene McSweeney, Director of Construction
Matthew Haringa, Project Engineer
Sean Canty, Intergovernmental Relations Manager
Jeanne Richardson, Deputy Director of Communications
In an emergency, contact BWSC's 24-hour, 7-day a week number at 617-989-7000.
If you have questions or concerns about construction, please call:
Project Field Office:
James Arrigal, Senior Resident Engineer Weston & Sampson 617-429-8471