Shortly after Special Town Meeting approved funding on November 4th for its replacement, the section of the Sewer Plant known as “Side One” stopped working. “Side Two” of the Plant, which mirrors Side One and performs the same functions, remains fully operational and has continued to properly treat effluent since the untimely failure of Side One.
An appropriation of $700,000 requested by the Sewer Commission to fund the replacement of Side One was approved unanimously at STM. Procurement of this replacement equipment has now been accelerated pursuant to provisions of State procurement law. In addition, the following actions have been taken to ease the burden on the operations of Side 2:
- Side One has been thoroughly cleaned and checked, and initial testing indicates the system may be able to be put back into limited service
- Replacement of manholes that allow water to enter the sewer system has been expedited, particularly in the area around Cohasset Cove
- Flow from the North Cohasset area has been redirected to the Hull treatment plant pursuant to an existing agreement, and tests are underway to explore how much additional flow might be redirected using existing equipment
In addition, a request will be made to the Board of Selectmen to accelerate the procurement for the replacement of Side Two’s filtration equipment. While funding for this work is currently available in the Sewer Capital Stabilization Fund, Town Meeting is not scheduled to meet again until May. A formal vote of the Selectmen will allow the purchasing process to begin now, rather than delaying an equipment order until after the May meeting. Taking into account the twenty-week manufacturing time-frame for the necessary equipment, a Selectmen vote will allow installation of a new Side Two as early as April rather than waiting for the Fall of 2020.
The Plant continues to operate properly and will continue to be closely monitored throughout this interim period. Further updates on the replacement program will be provided on a regular basis. Should there be any change in plant operations which require additional actions, residents will be notified promptly.