System Expansion Feasibility Studies

The Commonwealth has set aside no less than $300 thousand in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for MWRA to conduct studies to evaluate the feasibility of expanding the MWRA water and/or sewer system. The MWRA plans to use its task order contracts to complete this work, which will focus first on the South Shore area.

In particular, the water portion of the study will examine how much capacity the MWRA has in the southern high section of the water system, what additional infrastructure might be required to add capacity to the system, and potential operational changes to the Blue Hills tank to increase southern capacity. The list of communities to evaluate feasibility for supplying water include:

  • Weymouth
  • Hingham
  • Abington
  • Rockland
  • Norwell
  • Hanover
  • Cohassest
  • Scituate
  • Avon
  • Brockton

The wastewater portion of the study will examine what capacity − based on wet weather conditions − MWRA could add to the portion of its collection system feeding to Nut Island, which is currently near or at capacity. Are there any improvements or changes to the collection system including at the Nut Island Headworks, the Braintree/Weymouth Pump Station, or the Intermediate Pump Station that could increase flows to Deer Island? If so, what would the impacts be, particularly during particularly large storms or other periods of challenging conditions?

In addition to the currently scoped work for the southern portion of MWRA’s system, the MWRA plans to further conduct a feasibility study for system expansion toward the north side of its system, in particular the communities in the Ipswich Basin, which has long been stressed and in need of potential future solutions to their current water supply limitations.

The Advisory Board is very grateful to the Legislature, in particularly the leadership of Speaker Ron Mariano, for the inclusion of these funds to further an issue that has long been a priority of the Advisory Board. Stay tuned for further updates on this timely and important topic!