Brookline & Boston, MA, Heath Hill Section 52 Phase 2 Water Main Rehabilitation Project

MWRA Heath Hill Water Main Project

Heath Hill Section 52 Phase 2
Water Main Rehabilitation Project

Location: Brookline and Boston, MA, United States

Project owner: Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

Project type: Drinking Water and Wastewater

Budget: $5 million - $10 million  

Project description: This project involved the design and construction of more than two miles of water transmission main.  The existing steel pipeline was constructed in 1927-1928 and serves as a major water transmission main for the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA).  Approximately 800 feet of the original pipeline was replaced in 1997 due to excessive leaks and corrosion.  The remaining 11,500 feet of original pipe was rehabilitated during this project utilizing innovative trenchless technologies. 

How it satisfies the "triple bottom line" approach (economic, environmental, social), including innovative aspects:
By performing extensive engineering investigations of the pipeline, we were able to accurately assess the condition of the pipeline for rehabilitation. As a result of the extensive field work and engineering analysis, we determined that the life span of certain segments of the pipeline could be extended for at least another 50 years by cleaning and lining, rather than structural rehabilitation or replacement. In other areas where the pipe required replacement due to corrosion issues, we were able to use trenchless technologies.  Without performing the extensive field investigations and engineering analysis to determine the condition of the existing pipe and its potential for rehabilitation, the design approach would have been to replace the pipe along the entire alignment using open-cut trench excavation, which would have potentially doubled the cost of the project and would have generated significantly more waste material, environmental impact and disturbance to the surrounding area.
Environmental: By using trenchless technologies to rehabilitate the pipeline instead of performing conventional open-cut trench excavation, we were able to avoid disturbing a large wetland resource area, root systems of numerous mature shade trees, residential properties, traffic, school zones, and a major intersection along State Route 9.
Social: A significant portion of the pipeline is located in cross-country easements that run through private properties in affluent residential neighborhoods of Boston and Brookline, as well as through a college campus. The MWRA and the design team held a number of public informational/neighborhood meetings in order to explain the need for the project, the alternatives that were evaluated, and how the preferred alternative was the most cost- effective, environmentally sensitive and least disruptive option.  The neighborhood meetings paid huge dividends during construction as there were virtually no complaints from residents (or subsequent delays).

Categories of innovation: Project pathway, project strategy and management, communities: long and short term effects, land use and restoration, landscapes, ecology and biodiversity, water resources and environment, and resource management including waste.

Additional resources for information: 

For more about this project: Peter Richardson, Vice President, Green International Affiliates;, 978-923-0400

Submitted by: Peter Richardson

Date submitted: June 7, 2011

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