Goal: Continue to assist communities in reducing extraneous flow in their local sewer systems.

Shaping MWRA Projects and Initiatives – Giving Communities a Voice

The role of the Advisory Board is to provide feedback on MWRA projects and initiatives. At the January 19 meeting in Canton, the AB weighed in on two such undertakings.

The first was the MWRA’s emerging plans for system-wide water redundancy. Having participated in a half-day information session on redundancy in December, AB members unanimously voted to support an emerging MWRA plan to insure water system redundancy to the metropolitan area.

muniworks side
Community members at the metropolitan redundancy workshop

AB members included five conditions to their recommendation:

1. Use a Program Management Division (PMD) approach, similar to the Boston Harbor Project

2. Select deep rock tunnel versus surface piping alternative

3. Support the MWRA’s recommendation for two tunnels, north and south

4. Recommend that MWRA construct both tunnels concurrently, rather than in a phased manner

5. Pursue strategies that dedicate revenue from non-typical, or one-time water users sources (e.g. drought connections) to help fund the Metropolitan Tunnel Redundancy

The MWRA Board of Directors will take up their discussion on redundancy as we move forward in the spring. The Advisory Board looks forward to participating with the Board and MWRA staff in shaping this critical project.

arlington smoke testing
Smoke testing

AB members also weighed in on expanding eligible projects under the Local Community I/I Grant/Loan Program. This community-initiated discussion was first presented at our Operations Committee meeting in November. Eligible projects now include:

  • Permanent flow monitoring equipment
  • Sewer inspection equipment
  • Building inspections, smoke testing, dye testing
  • Administrative tasks related to planning/development of procedures and public outreach
  • Database development and mapping of connections to public utilities

This expansion will provide communities more tools to upgrade their local sewer systems.

Your voice can make a difference. Please attend AB Operations and regular meetings. There are also seats available on our Executive Committee. Feel free to contact us for more information.

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FY 2016 Q2 Goal:
  • Promote and track communities who begin to utilize Phase 9 & 10 of the I/I program. (See I/I Funding Summary through August 2015 including new phases here)
FY 2016 Activity
  • Partnered with UCANE to launch outreach to Lieutenant Governor re: available funding.
Prior Activity

March 2015

  • Press conference with Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, MWRA, and Advisory Board for receiving Phase 9 funding. View a video of the press conference here!
  • Approved language of first community survey required by changes to I/I program.
  • Phase 10 has been triggered by communities who have expended over 50% Phase 9 money.
  • $10.7 million of Phase 9 funding distributed through Q3. (View a list of distributions through March 2015 here.)

January 2015

  • Press event with Mayor Setti Warren, MWRA, and MWRA Advisory Board to kick off Phase 9 of the I/I program. View a video of the press conference here!

November 2014

  • Coordinated for press event with City of Newton.

June 2014

  • Board adopted Advisory Board recommendations to:
  • Expand I/I Program by $80 million
  • Create a 75% grant/25% zero-interest loan
  • Ten-year payment cycle
  • Remove local programs from MWRA CIP cap.
Comments and Recommendations History

FY 2015 (printed May 2014)

  • The Advisory Board recommends that the payback period for Phase 9 and Phase 10 of the Inflow/Infiltration Local Financial Assistance Program be extended to ten years. (Page 86; #26)
  • The Advisory Board recommends that Phase 9 and Phase 10 of the Inflow/Infiltration Local Financial Assistance Program be reconfigured to allow for a grant/loan ratio of 75% grants and 25% interest-free loans. (Page 86; #27)

FY 2013 (printed May 2012)

  • Include Phase VIII of the Inflow/Infiltration Local Financial Assistance Program in the final CIP, beginning in FY13. (Page 11; #5)
  • To reduce the variability in community loan program distributions, the Advisory Board supports a revision in the cap calculation to exclude the local assistance programs from the cap calculation beginning in FY14. (Page 17; #6)