Leaks, not breaks; Sewer project also fixing dripping water pipes

Abington’s public works director says contractors have been fixing, not breaking, water main’s underneath Summer Street.

Water service has been interrupted twice in the past week in the Summer Street area, around where a $6.8 million dollar sewer main replacement project is underway. Posts on social media speculated that the cause of the service interruption were water main breaks related to the sewer work.

John Stone  Abington’s public works director, says sewer project contractors uncovered leaky water mains during excavation. And since they were already there…

“We are repairing the water main in (two) different spots because the leaks were there already and eventually would have been needed to be repaired,” Stone said. “So it may be a blessing in disguise that the leaks were discovered before we paved the road next year.”

The sewer project contractor is performing the water main repairs under the supervision of the Abington/Rockland Joint Water Works, Stone said. 

The Sewer Department is replacing about two miles of a primary sewer main that starts at department headquarters on Summer Street, runs up Vernon Street, and ends on Brockton Avenue near the Wal-Mart entrance. The 30-year-old pipe, which helps carry away hundreds of thousands of gallons of wastewater every day, was found to be deteriorating. It broke twice along Summer Street in recent years.

Sewer replacement work will continue along Summer Street for the rest of the month, according to a project timeline. Crews will then spend September crossing Route 18 and working up Vernon Street. Work on the Brockton Ave section is expected to start later this month and run in to October.  

Area residents received notice that water service would be interrupted on Monday while repairs were made. Summer Street resident Donna Rizzi Peavey said the water was initially black when service was restored, but it eventually cleared up, as did water pressure. 

The City of Brockton’s Oak Hill Way wastewater treatment plant handles about 95 percent of Abington’s sewerage. The town is permitted to send up to 1.5 million gallons of wastewater to the Brockton facility every day; current flow levels clock in around 1 million gallons per day. The rest of the town’s sewer flow, which comes from Abington’s northeast corner, is treated by the Town of Rockland.

The DPW headquarters sits on top of a large pump that forces wastewater up Summer Street – one of the town’s low spots –  to Brockton Avenue, where it then runs out to Brockton.

The project is being paid for through user fees assessed to all Abington home and business owners. The sewer department is guided by a three-person elected board.

The Abington/ Rockland Joint Water Works is a quasi-independent agency managed by an elected six-member board. Both towns have three members on the board.