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Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
March 17, 2015

Ria Convery
(617) 788-1105,

MWRA Submits Annual Progress Report on CSO Control

MWRA submitted its Annual Progress Report on Combined Sewer Overflows (PDF) to federal district court Judge Richard G. Stearns on March 13, 2015, as part of the Boston Harbor cleanup case. The report describes the progress made by MWRA in cooperation with the Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC), the cities of Cambridge, Chelsea, and Somerville, and the Town of Brookline.

Overall CSO Control Program Progress:
To date, MWRA has completed 32 of the 35 projects in the $900 million, long-term control plan. CSO volume has been reduced by over 2.8 billion gallons a year. The last three projects are underway and are scheduled to be completed later this year, in compliance with Schedule Seven of the Federal Court Order.

When the program is completed in December 2015, system-wide CSO discharge volume will be reduced from 3.3 billion gallons in 1988 to 0.4 billion gallons, with 93% of the remaining discharge volume receiving treatment at MWRA’s four CSO facilities.  

Progress highlights for 2014:
Commencement of construction of the Control Gate and Floatables Control at Outfall MWR003 and MWRA Rindge Avenue Siphon Relief project:  MWRA issued the Notice to Proceed for the $2.7 million construction contract on August 28, 2014, ahead of the September milestone in Schedule Seven. This is the last of the 35 projects in the Long-Term Control Plan to move into construction. The project is located adjacent to the MBTA Alewife Station in Cambridge and is one of six projects in the plan that will control CSO discharges to Alewife Brook.  Construction is 40% complete, and all work is scheduled to be complete by the October 2015 milestone in Schedule Seven.

Continued progress with construction of the $71.8 million CAM004 Sewer Separation project:  The City of Cambridge has reached substantial completion of the CSO related work in the $17.8 million Contract 8A (Huron A), 77% completion of the CSO related work in the $31.2 million Contract 8B (Huron B) and 58% completion of the CSO related work in the $24.4 million Contract 9.  In December 2014, Cambridge advertised the construction contract for sewer separation along Concord Lane, the last of the sewer separation contracts to complete this project, and expects to issue the Notice to Proceed in March. All four contracts are on schedule for substantial completion by December 2015, in compliance with Schedule Seven. The project will reduce CSO discharges to the Alewife Brook and close Outfall CAM004.

Continued progress with construction of the $72.6 million Reserved Channel Sewer Separation project: This project includes nine construction contracts. BWSC reached substantial completion of the $13.7 million Contract 3B in November 2014 and expects to attain substantial completion of the $13.9 million Contract 4 in March. BWSC previously completed an outfall rehabilitation contract (Contract 1), two major sewer separation contracts (contracts 2 and 3A) and the first of two street paving contracts (Contract 7). Contract 8, the second street paving contract, is 50% complete.  In 2014, BWSC also issued Notices to Proceed for the last two construction contracts: the $4.8 million Contract 5 for cleaning and lining of older BWSC sewers in the Reserved Channel area and the $210,660 Contract 6 for disconnection of roof drain downspouts from the sewer system in the project area. All remaining work is on schedule for completion by December 2015, in compliance with Schedule Seven.

In January 2018, MWRA will begin a three-year performance assessment, including post-construction monitoring, to demonstrate that the program achieved long-term levels of CSO control. In December 2020, MWRA will submit the results of that assessment to the Court.


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Posted March 17, 2015