BOSTON, MA, September 29 – At its meeting this month, the MWRA Board of Directors voted to adopt the recommendation of the MWRA Advisory Board to fund another phase of its longstanding wastewater Infiltration/Inflow Local Financial Assistance Program aimed at helping communities improve their local sewer systems.

Infiltration/Inflow is extraneous water that enters all wastewater collection systems through a variety of sources.  During wet weather conditions, this additional flow reduces capacity in the system, and can lead to sanitary sewer overflows. MWRA’s I/I Local Financial Assistance Program began in 1993 and is a critical component of the MWRA’s Regional I/I Reduction Plan. The amount available to each community is based upon each community’s share of the MWRA’s sewer charges.

With this vote, the MWRA Board of Directors has approved $861 million in grants and loans for MWRA sewer communities since the program’s inception in 1993. To date, $515 million has been distributed to fund over 600 local sewer projects.

“This program is a vital tool for our local infrastructure needs,” stated Lou Taverna, Chairman of the MWRA Advisory Board and Newton City Engineer. “We apply for these funds as soon as they become available and put them to good use by investing them in Newton’s infrastructure. Without these funds, we would be woefully behind in our needs, so we’re grateful to the MWRA for making them available.”

This additional $100 million marks the fourteenth phase of I/I Local Financial Assistance funding. Funds will be available as 75% grants and 25% interest-free loans paid back over 10 years. The program is extremely popular for MWRA’s member communities. Over 80% of eligible communities have used more than half of their available grant/loan funds, which sunset in 2030.

More than 600 projects have been completed across the MWRA sewer service area. To date, 80 miles of sewer lines have been replaced and 300 more miles have been lined, along with inspections and other repairs. “MWRA is a major source of funding for both water and sewer projects in our 61 member communities,” said Fred Laskey, MWRA’s Executive Director. “These programs also allow the numerous Environmental Justice communities we serve to take advantage of MWRA’s strong credit ratings.”

 

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact the MWRA Advisory Board at matthew.romero@mwraadvisoryboard.com.

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