July 29, 2010
- City-State Groundwater Working Group - The Working Group met on July 22. As always, attendance and participation were excellent. Details of particular agency reports are listed under the agency heading below.
- Well Installation - We have completed the installation of our wells for this year. We installed 14 wells. Because of the subsurface conditions encountered, three of the planned sites proved to be unworkable. Results of initial readings from each of the new wells are posted on our website.
- MBTA - The MBTA continues to go forward with plans for the long term solution for low groundwater issues in the South End in the vicinity of Back Bay Station. They received letters of interest from six engineering firms for the tunnel rehabilitation project that includes the groundwater related work on July 14. They expect to complete the selection process and award a contract by September. Because the groundwater related work is one of the first items to be completed under the contract, they expect construction could start by Spring 2011. On another project, the T has completed all dewatering associated with the elevator installations for Copley Station; groundwater levels appear to be returning to normal.
- BWSC - BWSC is currently working on repairs to the sewer on Richmond Street between Commercial Street and Atlantic Avenue in the North End, with completion likely very soon. They have also discovered some leaking privately owned pipes in the area and are working with the owners to get them repaired. In the Back Bay, all of the sewer and recharge work in the alleys is complete for this year; they expect to line the combined sewer overflow on Dartmouth Street between Beacon and Back Streets in late August. BWSC is still working to find the cause of low groundwater at two sites in the South End, Albany Street and Union Park as well as Shawmut Avenue and Upton Street.
- MWRA - MWRA has substantially completed their major sewer project in East Boston, including the siphon that goes under the Blue Line near Porter Street. We have seen some improvements in groundwater levels in the area and will be watching this closely over the next few months.
- DCR - After informing us, DCR had to turn off the recharge pumps from the Storrow Drive Tunnel from June 15 to July 15 to complete testing of some modifications to their stormwater pumping system. We monitored that area closely, with dataloggers in multiple wells. We did see a gradual drop in levels during the month. Well be watching to see that they rebound as anticipated. Because the system is designed to switch to the stormwater pumps and discharge to the Charles River in the event of a major storm, the recharge system would not have received the water from the July 10 storm. DCR reported that those pumps were able to keep up even with that extraordinarily rapid rainfall.
- GCOD - In what is hopefully a sign of an improving economy, we are beginning to see an increase in cases coming before the Board of Appeals under GCOD. Compliance remains virtually 100%, thanks to the efforts of the Board, BWSC, and ISD.
- Website - We are having a problem with the traffic statistics function of our website. The information that I have been able to gather indicates a steady traffic flow at reasonably high levels. We continue to get comments praising the information available on the site.
- Meetings - I attended an additional presentation on the Liberty Mutual project.
- Comment Letters - I have filed comment letters on the planned projects at 100 Arlington Street and 319 A Street Rear. As always, the letters are posted on our website.