MWRA’s Final CSO Report Meeting

THURSDAY FEB 17th at 10 AM

The Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) is holding an online meeting this Thursday, February 17th, at 10 am. They plan to claim victory for their Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) project. Their good work is a victory for Boston Harbor, but what about the Alewife Brook?

Twenty years ago, the MWRA promised to clean up the untreated sewage pollution in Alewife Brook by 85%. And they raised our water bills to pay for it. But because of an increase in precipitation due to Climate Change, the Alewife CSOs continue to dump the same large volumes of sewage discharge into the brook.

The MWRA must acknowledge the flooding problems of the Alewife and the health risks associated with untreated sewage that they dump into Alewife Brook. There are an estimated 5000 people living in the Alewife’s 100-year flood plain. During flood events, hazardous, contaminated sewage water enters the homes, yards, and parks of our most vulnerable and diverse populations, making this an Environmental Justice issue.

In 2021, the MWRA’s Alewife CSO, MWR003, discharged over 20 MILLION GALLONS of untreated sewage water into Alewife Brook. Somerville and Cambridge dumped an additional 30 MILLION GALLONS. That’s an annual total of over 50 MILLION GALLONS of untreated sewage water discharged into the tiny Alewife Brook.

This is a serious health problem: among other pathogens, the MWRA’s Alewife sewage pollution contains COVID-19.

The solution is to eliminate all sewage pollution in the Alewife Brook, while adding green and grey infrastructure to clean the stormwater and reduce flooding.

We have an opportunity on Thursday – as a community – to ask that the MWRA commits to making lasting improvements in the Alewife. Please participate in the February 17th meeting and speak during the question and answer period as well as during the comments period.

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