Permit process begins to extend waterline to Leverett

Staff Writer
Published: 2/19/2021 10:12:22 AM

AMHERST — A project to extend a water main from Amherst into Leverett to provide drinking water to homes with wells contaminated by a former landfill is going through a permitting phase. 

Before the work — pegged at a cost of between $2.3 and $2.5 million and to be contracted out by the Department of Public Works —  begins, the Conservation Commission will hold a public meeting under the state Rivers Protection Act and the town’s Wetlands Protection Bylaw Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

The meeting comes after the DPW filed a notice of intent to install 9,500 linear feet of a 12-inch main beneath East Leverett Road in Amherst and both Cushman and Teawaddle Hills roads in Leverett, where the homes affected by a plume from the capped landfill are located.

Assistant Town Manager David Ziomek said Wednesday the notice of intent is a routine aspect of the initial permitting required for the project.

Ziomek said the project shouldn’t be complicated, with the only challenge being crossing the Cushman Brook that runs along East Leverett Road. This will be done through a process known as directional drilling below the brook. The water main will be placed underground to keep it from freezing during the winter months.

DPW Superintendent Guilford Mooring said a schedule for when the work begins is not yet determined.

When complete, five Leverett homeowners will be able to tie into the Amherst public water system and pay the associated connection fees and rates for water use. Homeowners in Amherst will also have the option to get water from the town’s extended system. Additional fire hydrants will be installed along the road.

All costs of the project, including resurfacing the roads after they are dug up to install the pipe, are to be covered by Leverett through a town appropriation, with borrowing previously authorized by Town Meeting in 2019, as well as grants and other sources.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.


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