U.S. Water News Online
BOSTON -- Serving the metropolitan Boston area as is
the only major water system in the nation with only one majo
supply pipeline, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA
plans to build a 17-mile, $530-million secondary pipeline as th
centerpiece of a plan to upgrade its waterworks system. The propose
MetroWest Water Supply Tunnel would augment the half century-old
Hultman Aqueduct, which while carrying 85 percent of the drinking
water into the Greater Boston area is nonetheless leaking in 35
or more places.
Moving ahead with the MetroWest project "is the only way
to ensure that we will be able to effectively provide water to
the 2.5 million customers in our service area," said Douglas
MacDonald, MWRA executive director. Noting that MWRA continues
to seek federal assistance in funding the pipeline project, MacDonald
noted that "The cost of not building the MetroWest Water
Supply Tunnel is far greater than the cost of building it now."
Catastrophic failure of the existing Hultman Aqueduct would cost
the region from $50 million to $100 million a day, he said.
The 14-foot diameter MetroWest tunnel, which would be bored
solid rock at depths ranging from 200 to 500 feet below the surface,
would carry up to 300 million gallons of water a day when completed.
Plans to construct a second Boston water aqueduct date back to
the 1930s when the onset of World War II effectively killed the
initial momentum of the proposal.
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