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MWRA To Hold Community Meeting on Union Park CSO Project

On Thursday, April 24, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority will hold a public meeting to discuss the upcoming construction of the Union Park Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Facility in Boston’s South End.

At the meeting, MWRA will introduce representatives of the construction contractor, Barletta Construction of Roslindale, and provide the project schedule, contact numbers, and information on measures that will be taken during construction to minimize community impacts. Area residents will have a chance to ask questions and discuss the details of the project.

The new Union Park CSO facility will detain and treat wet weather flows from Boston’s South End neighborhood that are pumped by Boston Water and Sewer Commission’s ("BWSC’s") existing Union Park Pump Station to Fort Point Channel on Boston Harbor. The new treatment facility will include underground detention tanks, screens to remove floating material, disinfection and dechlorination systems, and a new building adjacent to the existing pump station.

The primary purpose of the project is to improve water quality in the Fort Point Channel. The CSO facility, together with improvements BWSC is now making to its wastewater collection system in the South End, will reduce the annual CSO volume from the pump station from 132 million gallons to 29 million gallons, with the remaining flows receiving treatment. The number of overflows that occur each year will be reduced from an average of 25 to an average of six. When the new facility begins operations, discharges to Fort Point Channel will be required to meet strict permit standards set by the EPA. MWRA has included significant odor control equipment in the project. Hydraulic control features have been added to ensure that the flood abatement purpose of BWSC’s pump station will not be compromised by the treatment facility.

This project is one of 25 projects included in MWRA’s long-term CSO control plan, which is required by the federal court order in the Boston Harbor case. Fourteen of the projects are completed and five more, including the Union Park project, are in construction stages. The projects have already produced huge reductions in CSO discharges to the harbor and local rivers.

The Union Park construction project is a $37.2 million contract with a 30-month construction period ending in September 2005. MWRA is providing $500,000 in funding for the Boston Parks and Recreational Department to plan, design, and construct a new playground west of the pump station and a new passive park over the new detention tanks.

The meeting will be held at the St. Helena’s House Dining Room, 89 Union Park Street in Boston, beginning at 7:00 PM.

Additional information on the Union Park project and the MWRA’s CSO program can be found on MWRA’s website, www.mwracom. For more information on the meeting or the project, email or call Jeff McLaughlin at MWRA Public Affairs: 617-788-1170.