Connecticut River Cleanup Committee Prepares for Construction Season

30 Jul 2021

With $1.5 million in funding for the Connecticut River Cleanup Committee, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is supporting critical work to eliminate combined sewer overflows. 

Monies will be directed to several projects this year in Springfield, Chicopee and Holyoke to further reduce the amount of untreated sewage that annually spills into the Connecticut River during rainstorms. 

This is the seventh straight year of funding from the Commonwealth for CSO work in the region, all of which has come from authorizations within the State’s Environmental Bond Bills.

"Holyoke is pleased to continue the work of cleaning up the Connecticut River and appreciative of the funding provided to accomplish this while trying to reduce the burden on rate payers,” said Holyoke’s Acting Mayor Terry Murphy.

“The Connecticut River Cleanup Committee illustrates the power of regional collaboration across city lines to address the shared environmental and financial challenges of Combined Sewer Overflows and the harm they cause our Valley’s waterways,” said PVPC Executive Director Kimberly H. Robinson. “We are proud to work with great local leaders like Mayors Sarno, Vieau, and Murphy, as well as the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission and the Commonwealth’s Department of Environmental Protection to, in due time, remove every last trace of this legacy infrastructure from our communities.”

The Connecticut River Cleanup Committee (CRCC) is a regional collaborative convened and staffed by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission since 1993 that has brought together communities in addressing combined sewer infrastructure issues.  The Committee now includes the Cities of Chicopee and Holyoke, the Springfield Water & Sewer Commission (SWSC), and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Recent CSO work supported by the Commonwealth via the CRCC includes:

• Holyoke's sewer separation work on Front & Heritage Streets, Jackson Street, and funding of the development of their Long-Term Control Plan (which lays out the projects, budget, and timelines needed to reduce combined sewer overflows to EPA-mandated levels). Completion of the Jackson Street Sewer Separation project is estimated to reduce Holyoke’s CSO volumes to the Connecticut River by 3.7%, or 17.8 million gallons (as modeled in 2000).
• Chicopee's design and development of construction documents for the South Fairview Sewer Separation Project. Completed construction of this project will result in the anticipated removal of 7 million gallons of the total 28.8 million gallons, or roughly one-quarter of the total volume, of the CRCC region’s annual discharges to the Connecticut River.  When completed, this project will also eliminate sewer backups along 11 streets (James Street - west of Prospect Street, Montcalm Street, Hansen Street, Bonneta Circle, Dorothy Avenue, May Street, Hudson Avenue, Sandra Street, Broad Street, Lukasik Street and Manning Street) which currently pose a chronic public health problem.
• SWSC's Connecticut River Crossing and York Street Pump Station project. The Connecticut River Crossings will include laying 3 large pipes underneath the Connecticut River to connect the new York Street Pump Station to the Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility. This engineering feat entails crossing under the existing Army Corps of Engineers Flood Damage Reduction System flood wall, an active Amtrak railroad right-of-way, the Connecticut River, and a flood protection levee owned by the SWSC. This project is expected to reduce Springfield’s CSO discharge volume by 123 million gallons per year with 99 fewer overflow events per year.