News & Notes
A publication of the MWRA Advisory Board 
March 2014
Rags and Wipes in the Waste Stream
A growing problem/concern, both locally and nationally, has been the serious impacts of rags and wipes in the waste stream.  
At a recent Advisory Board meeting, MWRA Deputy Chief Operating Officer Carolyn Fiore outlined the impacts that rags and wipes have caused to the MWRA system. 
Nationally, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) has been reporting a significant growth of incidents that their member communities have experienced.  
The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) recently reported a major sewage spill directly caused by non-disposable products.  
In the report, a spokesperson from WSSC delivered the message, "Your toilet is not a trash can...the three "Ps" are the only things you should flush:  pee, poop and paper, and that's toilet paper."
In February, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, a class action lawsuit was brought against Kimberly-Clark Corporation and the Costco Wholesale Corporation on behalf of consumers that have experienced problems in their home plumbing due to wipes that are labeled "flushable."
The suit asks for $5 million due to the "deceptive, improper or unlawful conduct in the marketing, manufacturing, distribution and sale of flushable wipes."
Over the coming months, the Operations Committee will schedule meetings to begin to develop a viable strategy to help our communities and the Authority deal with this growing problem.

MWRA Receives FY14 Debt Service Assistance from Commonwealth

The MWRA has received $853,660 in Debt Service Assistance (DSA).  The legislature appropriated $1 million in DSA as part of the FY14 State Budget.  


In essence, the Authority received over 85% of the entire appropriation.  In addition, three MWRA communities also received DSA:  Boston Water and Sewer Commission - $28,698; Cambridge - $38,702; and Canton - $2,044.  


The Advisory Board thanks the legislature for their commitment to ratepayers and acknowledges Speaker Robert DeLeo, Caucus Chairman and House Majority Leader Ron Mariano and Caucus Vice-Chair Senator Anthony Petruccelli for their leadership.  


It is the Advisory Board's intention to recommend that the Authority "Pay Debt Service Forward" and use the $853,660 to reduce the rate revenue requirement for FY15.  


For the complete list of DSA recipients, please click here.  


In Memorium  


William G. Elliott - "Bill"


The extended MWRA family lost a good friend in Bill Elliott, who passed away last week while visiting his daughter in North Carolina.  He was 82.  


For those of you who never met Bill, the Advisory Board would like to share a few thoughts on his contributions.  


Bill Elliott was an inventor; he held nine individual patents, among which was developing a spectrometer with a unique flame configuration allowing the instrument to become a small table model.  Its portability enabled it to be used all over the world, in the field and in hospital laboratories for elemental analysis.  


In the 1980s, before moving to Shutesbury, MA, Bill lived in Lincoln, MA and became involved with the former MDC study of diverting additional Sudbury River water to the metropolitan water system - he questioned its need and helped guide technical commentary.  He then became a member and, subsequently, Co-Executive Director of the Water Supply Citizens Advisory Commitee (WSCAC) to the MWRA for over 20 years.  Additionally, Bill was the sole western Massachusetts member on the MWRA's Wastewater Advisory Committee (WAC) in its early days.


His contributions to the MWRA through his WSCAC involvement included technical recommendations on improved water treatment, including in-reservoir protections and treatments, avoidance of filtration to instead maintain a strong watershed management program, and an analytic approach to water policy to both the MWRA and the state's DEP.  MWRA's technical water quality staff came to respect Bill's "out of the box" thinking and incorporated some recommendations into their own recommendations for action.


Oh, by the way, Bill's dogged belief and advocacy that the MWRA did not need a filtration plant saved ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars.  


Bill, you will be missed, but your legacy remains.     

Upcoming Events


Apr 1st - Public Hearing on 

MWRA's Proposed FY15 CEB

Boston City Hall - 6:30 pm 


Apr 11th - Executive Committee meeting - Charlestown
at 8:30 am


Apr 16th - MWRA Board of Directors meeting - Charlestown

 at 10:00 am 


Apr 17th - Advisory Board meeting - Chelsea   

at 11:30 am


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