Massachusetts Water Resources Authority


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August 7, 2000

MWRA Begins Water Pipeline Rehabilitation Project in Brookline and Brighton

MWRA today announced that construction work will begin in mid August to rehabilitate large water pipelines in Brookline and small portions of Brighton and Fenway. "Renewing old water mains is a big part of our program to improve the reliability and quality of water service to customers," said MWRA Executive Director Douglas B. MacDonald.

The water pipelines included in this project, portions of the "Boston Low Service" network, deliver water to downtown Boston and surrounding areas. More than 20 miles of unlined cast iron pipes laid in this network in the late 19th century are still operated by MWRA. Such old pipelines can contribute corrosion to water en-route to customers, and lead to main breaks that disrupt service, damage property, or even cause pavement collapses.

Most of the work includes cleaning out and placing a new cement mortar lining inside existing sections of existing 20" to 48" pipe. Large valves that are no longer operable will be replaced as well. The cost of the pipeline construction work is $12.3 million.

MWRA’s contractor, P. Caliacco Corp., is preparing a schedule for segments of the work in several Brookline and Boston neighborhoods.

"MWRA’s staff will work with the contractor to minimize impacts to the public as a result of this work," said Eleanor Duffy, MWRA’s program manager. "This project will not interrupt water supply, and construction will be organized to accommodate neighborhood traffic patterns, school schedules and community events. MWRA will work with local public officials and businesses, other utilities, police, and neighborhood associations to complete the project safely and efficiently."

MWRA has met with Brookline Commissioner of Public Works Thomas DeMaio who will be working with MWRA staff to notify Brookline residents and business owners near the streets affected by the project.

The project begins near Cleveland Circle. From that point, work will be undertaken in segments in the following Boston and Brookline neighborhoods (see Map - 523K PDF):

 Beacon St. from Cleveland Circle to St. Mary’s Street
 Longwood Ave. from Harvard Street to Chapel Street
 St. Paul Street from Beacon Street to Buick Street
 Fuller Street from Winchester Street to Harvard Street
 Harvard Street from Fuller Street to Verndale Street
 Centre Street from Fuller Street to Beacon Street

In 1999 MWRA completed two earlier phases of this project, which included work in Cleveland Circle, on Beacon, Buckminster, and Boylston Streets, Clinton Road, and Brookline Avenue.

Along the pipeline rehabilitation routes, street excavation will be prepared to access the pipelines. These excavations are generally 10 feet by 20 feet in size, allowing equipment to be lowered into and pushed through the pipelines. Attached are several photographs of the pipleline rehabilitation process.

Old water pipes in the MWRA and community systems can create taste, odor and rusty-water problems for customers resulting from build-up of deposits in the corroded pipes. As part of a long-range program to rehabilitate 200 miles of pipeline, MWRA has a target of completing 7-10 miles of pipeline rehabilitation work each year. MWRA is also providing interest-free loans for community projects involving water pipeline rehabilitation.

Rehabilitating and replacing old water pipes is an essential part of the MWRA’s Integrated Water Supply Improvement Program. Other elements of the 10 year program include: 1) comprehensive watershed protection; 2) a major new deep-rock aqueduct, the MetroWest Tunnel, to assure continuous water transmission to communities; 3) projects in the distribution system including pipeline rehabilitation and new covered storage facilities to protect water quality; and 4) construction of modern treatment facilities for enhancing water quality.

Questions about the project should be directed to MWRA’s Jeff McLaughlin - (617) 788-1170 or by e-mail .