October 23, 1985
David A. Passafaro, Staff Director
Boston City Council
Boston, Mass. 02201
As we discussed in Councillor Menino's office Monday, I am enclosing
a copy of my Aquifer Depletion testimony. At the end are four
recommendations which could be the basis of a City Council Resolution.
The second one deals with natural recharging. In the plans for the
renovation of Copley Square, for example, I suggest that if the rain
water that falls is directed into the ground it will benefit buildings
for blocks around. If hydrologists and landscape architects support this
suggestion then the B.R.A. should require natural drainage in the plans.
This recommendation cost very little to implement and has tremendous
long term benefits. Open spaces should be carefully looked at before
they are paved over. In some critical areas the streets themselves could
be designed to drain into the ground, much less expensive than
On a smaller scale roof leaders from rain gutters on houses in back
bay should be lead into the ground and not into city sewers. This will
both benefit the foundations and will reduce combined storm and sanitary
sewerage flows, a major water pollution problem. To make these changes
might require a chance in the building code, although I know in Hyde
Park the Boston Water and Sewer Commission at its own expense is
planning to disconnect roof leaders from the sewer system, in
neighborhoods where there are capacity problems in the sewers.
I understand Councillor Scondras is negotiating to obtain private
money to install new observation wells. While this is a good idea, I
think we need to go farther so that we have a damage fund in place
before any more buildings are torn down.
If there is to be a citizen study panel I would suggest that it be
an advisory committee to the department head responsible for acting in
this area. I would not want the panel to get in the way of action.
Very truly yours,
cc: David Scondras
Peter Kwass, President, F.C.D.C.