For Immediate Release - December 20, 2016

Baker-Polito Administration Awards Nearly $400,000 for Planning Work on Critical Drinking Water and Wastewater Systems

BOSTON - Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that 10 Massachusetts communities will receive grants up to $40,000 each to complete an Asset Management Plan for important local drinking water or wastewater systems. The grants, which are administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), have been awarded to the City of Quincy, and the Towns of Avon, Groton, Hudson, Hull, Lexington, Littleton, Nantucket, Wareham and Yarmouth, and total $394,600.

"It is imperative that every community has a water infrastructure in place that meets the needs of its citizens both today and well into the future," said Governor Charlie Baker. "We are proud to play a role in assisting local efforts to properly evaluate local drinking water and wastewater systems, as they continue to plan and prepare for future demands and challenges."

"Our Administration continues to foster strong partnerships with local officials to ensure the quality of the public's water resources continues to be some of the best in the nation," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "This vital funding source will assist these municipalities as they become better prepared for a variety of potential contingencies."

Asset management is important to a public utility, because it identifies critical operational equipment, and outlines a time frame and costs for regular replacement, and/or rehabilitation of a facility. This allows the public utility to minimize debilitating interruptions to the operation of drinking water works, wastewater collection and treatment systems, and stormwater drainage systems.

"These planning grants will assist recipient municipalities in meeting certain federal Clean Water Act requirements, as well as enhance public utility infrastructure systems by outlining budgetary needs for new equipment to prevent a crisis scenario," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. "The Baker-Polito Administration remains steadfast in supporting communities throughout the Commonwealth with extraordinary local water systems, and these grants serve as an excellent example of that dedication."

"These grants will allow communities to inventory critical water infrastructure," said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. "An accurate inventory allows the owner to plan for regular maintenance and rehabilitation, minimizing unexpected failures and extending the useful life of the system."

Communities awarded Asset Management Plan funding for drinking water are:

Avon - $35,000;
Groton - $40,000;
Lexington - $40,000;
Littleton - $40,000;
Wareham Fire - $40,000; and
Yarmouth - $40,000.

Communities awarded Asset Management Plan funding for wastewater are:

Hudson - $40,000;
Hull - $39,600;
Nantucket - $40,000; and
Quincy - $40,000.  

"We all deserve clean and safe drinking water, and I'm pleased that Secretary Beaton and the Baker-Polito Administration are making these important investments in local water infrastructure," said State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton). "I wish to congratulate Littleton and Hudson on receiving these grants, and look forward to continue working with local officials in my district to secure key investments for water infrastructure."

"I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for recognizing the needs of Hull by awarding this grant," said State Senator Patrick O'Connor (R-Weymouth). "This funding will provide Hull the ability to assess their wastewater system and make plans for potential future projects."

"I'm thrilled that once again Lexington stands at the forefront of clean water initiatives in the Commonwealth," said State Representative Jay Kaufman (D-Lexington). "It's vitally important that we not only maintain our clean water supply, but we also assess our water and wastewater infrastructure needs going forward. This grant will allow the town to identify and pursue much-needed capital improvement projects."     

The Asset Management Plans include required criteria, such as:

  • An inventory of the entire water system;
  • The development of a criticality rating for certain elements of a system that include replacement costs; and,
  • A determination of the useful life for system equipment and water works for planned capital projects, with 5- and 10-year asset plans that outline annual line item budget costs and the effect on the water and sewer rates.

Funds for this program have been made available from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) 2016 Capital Spending Plan.

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.

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