Live in Swifts Beach? Learn about upcoming sewer upgrades on Saturday

Aug 15, 2022

Swifts Beach residents will have the chance to learn more about the sewer upgrades coming to their neighborhood in a public meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20.

The meeting will be held in the Swifts Beach Improvement Association’s Voss Hall at 34 Pleasant St.

The upgrades come after Town Meeting approved the project’s funding in the spring. Work will include the installation of individual grinder pumps at each home, which will keep non-flushable materials from causing pipe issues further down the system.

Wareham Sewer Commissioners instituted a moratorium on new sewer hookups earlier this year, as the town’s Water Pollution Control Facility reached 80% of its allowed capacity in May. There’s a limit to how much water the facility can discharge into the Agawam River, and now that the plant has reached that, the department is working to find ways to free up some of that capacity.

That includes cutting down on groundwater that infiltrates pipes in Swifts Beach by replacing the current pipes with a closed system, along with the grinder pump installation.

The system replacement and grinder pump installation is expected to cost around $3 million.

Guy Campinha, the head of the Water Pollution Control Facility, outlined the timeline for the neighborhood project.

The project is expected to begin by Oct. 1, after the town chooses and signs a contract by the end of September. The contract specifies that by 140 days after an agreement is signed, the project must be completed, so the contracted work is likely to be done by early 2023.

The work will all be done outside residents’ homes, Campinha said, but residents will need to hook up their lateral pipeline to the new pumping system, which comes at a cost.

Campinha didn’t have a specific number for the cost for homeowners, but he said it would not be outlandish.

Otherwise, the town is responsible for the system, he said, so long as residents don’t put items down the pipe that aren’t flushable. Anything that’s not waste or toilet paper can jam the pipes and may result in a service charge for residents, he said.

At Saturday’s public meeting, residents will have a chance to talk with the engineers and the town about their questions and concerns.

“We’ll try to address all we can,” Campinha said.

Those with questions ahead of the meeting can call the sewer department at 508-295-6144.