Published in the May 28, 2021 edition.
By MARK SARDELLA
WAKEFIELD — The towns of Wakefield and Lynnfield will hammer out the details of an infrastructure project that will allow the Lynnfield Center Water District (LCWD) to meet its demand by drawing supplemental MWRA water through the Wakefield system via a connection in the area of Bay State Road.
Following an extensive study of options for supplementing its water supply, it was recommended that the LCWD pursue an interconnection with the town of Wakefield. Doing so would enable the district to draw up to an additional 25 percent of its current supply capacity from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority through the Wakefield water system.
After DPW Director Joseph Conway reviewed the details of the project at this week’s Town Council meeting, the council voted to authorize the DPW and Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio to finalize the the details of an intermunicipal agreement with Lynnfield and bring the final agreement back to the Town Council for approval.
Conway noted that starting in the fall of 2020, Wakefield and the LCWD began working to determine logistics and feasibility. Preliminary terms were reviewed and agreed to by both parties to present to their respective boards.
Under the potential agreement, Wakefield would allow LCWD to “wheel” MWRA water through Wakefield’s distribution system to Lynnfield. A markup for capital expenses will be paid quarterly to Wakefield.
All capital work required will be the financial responsibility of LCWD and ownership of new infrastructure will be transferred to Wakefield. The proposed term of the agreement is 20 years, with rates to be reviewed in years 7, 12 and 16.
Conway said that Phase 1 of the project will involve excavation and installation of 1430 linear feet of new water main from the end of the Wakefield distribution system on Bay State Road in Wakefield to Main Street in Lynnfield.
Phase 2 includes excavation and installation of 660 linear feet of new water main from the intersection of Main Street at Bay State Road Lynnfield to the north side of the Route 128 bridge culvert located on Vernon Street Wakefield.
Phase 3 will involve excavation and installation of new 8-inch water main from the end of the Wakefield distribution system at Indian Lane to the north side of the bridge crossing. This install will utilize a suspended utility crossing to span the stream bed and allow for cleaner access in the future.
Conway said that once the LCWD is initiated as member of the MWRA they will install a metered connection in the vicinity of Main Street Lynnfield and Bay State Road. This phase is tentatively estimated to occur during the spring/summer of 2022.
In exchange for allowing LCWD to “wheel” MWRA water to their system, a markup will be paid by Lynnfield to the town of Wakefield. That revenue is estimated to be approximately $100,000 annually.
Other benefits to Wakefield include improved water system dynamics via new distribution loop, Conway said, and providing an alternative to the Pierce Ave/Route 95 water main crossing. That crossing was abandoned due to a suspected leak in the main under the highway. The new project would allow Wakefield to permanently abandon that main.
The project will also create additional fire flow capacity on Bay State Road as well as creating another point of system redundancy.
All infrastructure to be installed would be transferred to Wakefield to own and operate.