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December 17, 2001

Legislators Move to Accelerate Covered Water Storage Projects

The MWRA Legislative Caucus has filed legislation (H. 4816) allowing the acceleration of two critical water storage tank projects planned by the MWRA. These projects, located in Quincy and Stoneham, will help ensure the safety of the metropolitan Boston area’s drinking water. Water from MWRA’s Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs needs protected, short-term storage in the metro area after treatment.

Covering water storage tanks is critical in MWRA’s efforts to assure a safe and adequate supply of drinking water,"stated MWRA Legislative Caucus Chair Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). "Getting MWRA this approval to use the design-build process will accelerate the project by up to two years andsave money."

"With the enormous Norumbega Covered Storage Project in Weston along the Mass Pike, MWRA has proven that it can use the design-build process to accelerate a key project and save money at the same time," said Rep. DeLeo. "MWRA’s current water treatment and tunnel projects now in construction and recent security improvements all help to assure a safe and reliable water supply for decades to come. But we need these two tank projects completed in an expeditious manner."MWRA plans to build a 25 million gallon storage tank underground near Blue Hills Reservoir in Quincy that will serve Quincy, Milton, Dorchester, West Roxbury and Hyde Park. The second project is a 20 million gallon underground tank near Spot Pond in Stoneham that will serve Chelsea, Somerville, Medford, Malden, Cambridge, East Boston, and Charlestown in MWRA’s Low Service area. Boston areas of South Boston, Back Bay, South End, Beacon Hill and North Dorchester will also benefit from the Low Service Storage project.The Blue Hills and Spot Pond Reservoirs were removed from active service to the MWRA system in 1981 and 1997 respectively. MWRA needs covered storage at locations strategically placed throughout the water distribution system

Legislation is needed to allow MWRA to use the design-build process which reduces overall project time and should result in reduced project costs. MWRA has successfully used the design-build process for the 115 million-gallon Norumbega water storage tank now under construction along the Mass Pike in Weston.