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Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
February 16, 2012

Ria Convery
(617) 788-1105, <>

South Boston Tunnel Project Wins National Award

Tunnel Startup Event
Judge Stearns, Mayor Menino, Secretary Sullivan, Senator Hart, members of the MWRA Board of Directors and other dignitaries at the tunnel's opening ceremonies on June 23, 2011

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Improved Beach Water Quality
Beach Water Quality Post Startup
Project Map
map of area

At its annual conference in Los Angeles this week, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) honored the MWRA with its Operations and Environmental Performance Award for the North Dorchester Bay CSO Tunnel project.

According to NACWA, the award is presented to member agencies for outstanding initiatives in wastewater treatment, wastewater conveyance, stormwater management, and/or environmental enhancement.

The $272 million tunnel project was completed in May 2011, at the beginning of last year’s swimming season.  Since start-up, the storage tunnel and related facilities have consistently performed as designed, preventing millions of gallons of CSO and separate stormwater from discharging to the harbor during more than 75 rainfall events and sending the stored flows at the end of each storm to Deer Island for treatment. Although summer 2011 was rainy, beach closings on South Boston beaches were minimal.

The work involved five major construction contracts by both MWRA and the Boston Water & Sewer Commission (BWSC), including the 2-mile long, 17-foot diameter tunnel; the pumping station located at Massport’s Conley Terminal and related 24-inch diameter force main that remove stored flows from the tunnel after each storm; the below-ground tunnel ventilation and odor control building behind the State Police Barracks on Day Boulevard; the BWSC Morrissey Boulevard storm drain; and the Pleasure Bay storm drain improvements that eliminated stormwater discharges to Pleasure Bay Beach.

BWSC has also completed three of the construction contracts associated with its $62.3 million Reserved Channel Sewer Separation Project and continued construction progress on two other contracts.  All construction and design work is on schedule for completion of the project by December 2015.

The project was also recently recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies with a Gold Award for Outstanding Professional Design Excellence.


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Posted February 16, 2012