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Worcester, Fitchburg Awarded State Grants for Sewage Overflow Notification

By Tom Marino | May 1, 2023
Last Updated: May 1, 2023

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced $600,000 in grants last week to 10 wastewater utilities and systems in Massachusetts to assist with requirements to notify the public of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs).

The projects, selected by MassDEP, include expanding public notification efforts through signage, web interfaces, and online information. Over 240 municipalities in Massachusetts are subject to the regulations that took effect on July 6, 2022. The grants aim to improve the timeliness, accuracy, and reliability of public notifications and raise awareness of infrastructure limitations that lead to CSOs.

The Worcester Department of Public Works & Parks received $40,000 to design and install equipment to monitor and measure sewage flow that passes through its existing wet weather bypass conduit to the Blackstone River.

“Those living near Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester know better than most how critical sewage pollution notifications are,” said State Senator Michael Moore. “This grant, awarded to Worcester Department of Public Works and Parks, will help ensure that when sewage discharges do happen, residents in nearby communities will be notified so that they can make informed decisions to protect their health.”

The Fitchburg Wastewater Division received $71,800 for work conducted to meet the CSO notification requirements in fiscal year 2023, and upcoming work to be conducted in FY 2023.  Upcoming work includes the optimization and final
implementation of the public notification system and the development of their Final CSO Notification Plan.

Other municipalities receiving grants with this round of funding include:

  • Cambridge Department of Public Works – $34,000
  • Lowell – $66,952
  • Greater Lawrence Sanitary District – $121,360
  • Springfield Water and Sewer Commission – $70,982
  • Lynn Water & Sewage Commission – $80,000
  • Chelsea $42,650
  • Holyoke – $64,039
  • Pittsfield – $8,216

For more information on the Sewage Notification Assistance Grant Program, visit the MassDEP website.

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