Inflow and Infiltration
Overloading Treatment Plants
Surface Water Contamination
Increased Treatment Costs
Promotion of Harmful Algal Blooms
The untreated or partially treated wastewater that gets discharged into water bodies can be rich in nutrients, especially phosphorus and nitrogen . Aging septic systems are a major contributor to harmful algal blooms because they can leak human waste into local water bodies. These nutrients can stimulate the growth of algae, leading to harmful algal blooms. These blooms can produce toxins that harm aquatic life, make the water unsafe for recreational activities, and can lead to health problems in humans if they consume contaminated water or seafood.
The release of untreated wastewater into natural water bodies doesn't just impact humans. Aquatic life is directly exposed to all the chemicals and pathogens present in the sewage. Over time, this can result in a decline in biodiversity and disrupt the natural balance of aquatic ecosystems.
Addressing the issues of inflow and infiltration is more than just a technical endeavor; it's a critical step toward safeguarding public health. Ensuring that our sewer systems are robust and resilient against these challenges not only saves money in the long run but also ensures the well-being of communities and the preservation of the environment.
What has been done to date:
As required by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Town’s consultant has been investigating inflow and infiltration for “The Hill” area of Plainville. The work includes house inspections to determine quantity and location of sump pumps, smoke testing to determine if catch basins or roof leaders are connected, dye testing to check for sources that visually give the appearance that the source could be connected . The Town’s consultant has also been performing approximately 200 closed circuit television (CCTV) inspections of sewer lines and lateral pipelines. The video camera can determine the location and severity of defects, the likelihood of failure, and rehabilitation needs.
The area known as “The Hill” is a part of the Moran Street sewer area which encompasses all the sewered area along and west of Washington Street. This is the oldest area of development in town and is the greatest contributor of sanitary sewer inflow and infiltration. The sewer mains date back to the 1970’s and clay. Clay is no longer used due to the porous condition of the pipe; clay becomes brittle over time and susceptible to damage from tree roots. Over time the clay becomes separated Understand that all sewered streets and subdivisions off South Street, West Bacon Street, Walnut Street, and Warren St flow to the Moran Street Sewer Station in N. Attleborough. Excessive flows can overwhelm the station and risk a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) into the surrounding wetlands and pond.
What is the goal of the project:
The priority of the project is to protect public health, safety, and property. The Town’s consultant will develop a design project to reduce infiltration into the sewer system.