September 22, 2011
- City-State Groundwater Working Group - The Working Group will meet again on October 27.
- MBTA - We continue to provide information to GZA as they proceed with their design work for the MBTA. In addition to their work on the long term solution to low groundwater levels near Back Bay Station in the South End, they will be looking into the possibility that the low groundwater levels near Breman and Porter Streets in East Boston might be MBTA related.
- BWSC - BWSC expects to award the contract for sewer repairs on Commercial Street in the North End this month. They repaired two small water lines in the North End that might have been causing some high fluctuations in groundwater levels. In Back Bay, BWSC has diverted the flow from the 36" sewer line that was the suspected cause of low groundwater levels along Dartmouth Street. They have found some significant areas of infiltration in the bottom section of the line at a manhole near Alley 418. They are reviewing the tv tapes to make sure if there are other sources of leakage, then will devise a repair program.
- MassDOT - MassDOTs contractors have begun the work of cleaning the Turnpike drain pipe from the Prudential Tunnel for the first time since it was constructed almost a half century ago. They hope to have a report within a few weeks of any leaks that may have been obscured by sediment that could be causing reductions in groundwater levels.
- DPW - Christian and I met with City Engineer Para Jayasinghe and his staff to review potential solutions to the problem of damage to our observation wells during sidewalk construction projects. We have worked out a system that we believe will enable us to prevent the vast majority of the damage caused by contractors not knowing to protect our wells. We believe that the plan will not put any significant strain on City or State agencies or on contractors (or the Trust).
- GCOD - Compliance with GCOD remains excellent. There have been over 130 recharge systems installed to meet GCOD requirements, with over 120 more approved but not yet installed because projects have yet to be completed. The work of ISD, the Board of Appeals, and the BRA has assured that all projects address the GCOD requirements; the very few variances granted have been for very valid technical reasons.
- Website - Our consultant has begun work on an upgrade to our interactive map that will allow it to work better with tablet computers while retaining full existing functionality for computers using a mouse. We are planning to switch to a Google Maps based system that should assure improved functionality and reduce some of the availability issues that we have occasionally had with our existing map. In the meantime, traffic to the site remains steady, with nearly 200 daily visits.
- Funding - We have received our FY12 funding from the City. Thanks to the Environment Department for making sure that everything happened smoothly.
- Meetings - Christian and I met with the proponents for the new residential tower planned for Copley Place to review their planned recharge system and other groundwater related issues. We met with DPW to discuss ways to assure that our well locations are highlighted so that they are protected from damage by DPW contractors. I met with a journalism student from Emerson for an interview.
- Comment Letters - I filed comments on the Copley Place residential tower and retail expansion project. As always, these are posted on our website.