The Warwick Sewer Authority will take another step toward extending sewers to the neighborhoods of Riverview, Longmeadow, Bayside and Highland Beach when it advertises for bids this week.
Notice of the project, dubbed Bayside, have been sent to contractors specializing in directional drilling. That technique will be used in place of the conventional open trench installation of pipes so as not to disturb Native American artifacts, including graves, that have been identified in the path of the sewers.
Bids would be due on Jan. 24, 2020, and assuming a bid award, work would start as soon as May 1 with completion of the project extending sewers to 937 properties 730 days later, Todd Ravenelle of GRA Engineers told the authority Thursday.
Ravenelle is confident that the Department of Environmental Management will extend its waiver of state legislation requiring homeowners within 200 feet of the bay using cesspools to have an approved septic system or tie into the sewers as long as the WSA is moving ahead with the project.
“They’re willing to work with us provided they see some forward progress,” Ravenelle said. Forty-two homeowners currently using cesspools are directly affected.
“Well that’s good news. It sounds good,” said authority board member Carlo Pisaturo, who formerly represented the area as the Ward 5 councilman.
Under the directional drilling plan – a first time for the authority to use this means of installation – home service connections would be brought to within several feet of home foundations. This cost would be included in the assessment, which the property owner is responsible for paying whether they connect to the sewers or not.
Board attorney John C. Revens suggested that in addition to contacting property owners prior to construction that letters include a drawing of the house showing the location of other utilities and allowing for the homeowner to identify revisions such as a sump pump drain. The authority is also expecting homeowners to indicate where they would need the service connection if they have not already done so.
As most homes within the project are relatively close to the road, Ravenelle suggests a uniform cost be applied to the service connection and that be included in the overall assessment. The exception may be Seacrest, where homes are set back from the road.
The projected cost of assessments – a sensitive issue, and not one that the board wants to speculate about – was not brought up at the meeting. The assessment will be set at the conclusion of the project, when the cost is equally shared by the 937 property owners gaining access to sewers.
That’s the case, too, with Governor Francis Farms Phase III sewers that are nearing completion. Earl Bond, the WSA’s interim executive director, said the pump for the station at the southerly end of Lansdowne Road would be delivered this week. Testing will follow installation and the project, including the repaving of Squantum Drive, is projected for a mid-December completion. Assessments would then be finalized and property owners notified this winter. Property owners would be able to make connections by the end of next month.
Bond informed the board the authority is pursuing the state and National Grid for failing to elevate sewer manholes to grade when they repaved a portion of Main Avenue.
He also reported that the authority continues evaluate 300 miles of gravity fed pipes. That work has been concentrated on the arteries of the system and lines installed prior to 1980 when PVC pipes replaced concrete ones. Bond aims to expand the analysis using cameras and including the removal of silt that has built up in some lines so that 20 percent of the system is evaluated annually.