O&M on Massachusetts’ South Shore

O&M on Massachusetts’ South Shore

Hull, MA is a small peninsula town in Plymouth County that has been the site of summer homes for historic figures, including Calvin Coolidge and former Boston Mayor John F. Fitzgerald, grandfather of President John F. Kennedy. While it is the smallest town by area in its county and the fourth smallest in all of Massachusetts, its population density is in the state’s top thirty. This beautiful coastal community, almost entirely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, has drawn summer visitors and year-round residents alike to its idyllic location.

This location also brings a fair number of challenges for its wastewater treatment system, particularly as increased flooding has become a problem all along the New England coastline. Over 20 coastal storms have resulted in floods that have damaged property in Hull over the last 30 years; notably, blizzards in both 2013 and 2015 turned streets into rivers as waves up to 20 feet high buffeted the coast. A wastewater treatment system susceptible to these kinds of severe storms must be resilient and have clear plans in place to contend with future flood events. The Town of Hull hired Woodard & Curran as their partner for a 10-year period with the confidence that they would contribute to the system’s stability come future coastal storms.

Woodard & Curran began contract operations of the Town of Hull’s Water Pollution Control Facilities (WPCF) in May of this year, with the contract extending through April of 2025. The firm provides full-service operation and maintenance services for the WPCF, which includes the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), seven wastewater pumping stations, 175 grinder pumps, and a collection system that includes approximately 40 miles of pipe. The WWTP is a conventional activated sludge plant with a design capacity of 3.07 MGD, and the collection system serves approximately 5,000 residential and business connections.

Hull has used the public-private contract operations model since 1988, allowing it to focus on core services while its partner takes responsibility for specialized areas of operations. For a town with considerable exposure to the effects of sea level rise, this is vital to maintaining an efficient and functional wastewater treatment system. As Frank Cavaleri, who oversees the project for Woodard & Curran, said, “Our goal is to help Hull maintain and improve critical infrastructure to protect the community and provide essential services in the face of increasingly volatile weather.”

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