$9.3M for water pollution abatement gets council OK; Funding will only cover one-half of work required by state.


Byline: Paula J. Owen

FITCHBURG - The City Council's approval of $9.3 million in additional money for water pollution abatement projects Tuesday night will only get the city halfway through what it is ordered to do by the state.

Joseph A. Jordan, deputy commissioner at the city's wastewater department, said $6.5 million of the money will pay to separate more of the city's combined sewer pipes from storm water pipes as mandated by the Department of Environmental Protection.

The action is necessary to clean up the Nashua River, officials said, and clear up noncompliance issues with the DEP to avoid long-term fines for the city.

"We'll still have half of the combined sewer pipes in the city to separate, another 10 miles," Mr. Jordan said Wednesday.

There are 220 miles of sewer pipes in the city, he said, and 20 miles of them were originally combined.

So far in the project, which was started in 2004, the city has spent $8 million on separating combined sewer pipes, he said.

An additional $150,000 was spent to reconfigure a manhole where sewage mixed with storm water and overwhelmed the line.

"The storm water would go down the pipe and turn and mix in with municipal sewage going to the plant," he said. "The line would be overwhelmed and would spill over the weir wall, and the...

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