By Joseph D. Elie, Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – On Jan. 10, the Board of Sewer Commissioners reported to the Board of Selectmen on the condition of the town's sewer system, as well as the progress being made on a variety of capital improvement projects.
Town Engineer Jack Perreault said the upgrade of the Westborough Water Treatment Plant, which services Shrewsbury, was completed in November 2011- two months ahead of schedule and more than $1 million under budget. Perreault said the total cost of the upgrade was $52.7 million, but the fixed annual operating costs still have to be ascertained.
Sewer Superintendent Robert Tozeski said “inflow and infiltration” was the most significant problem his department faced, especially during the spring when storms and snow melt can cause the daily flow to the treatment plant to increase from an average two million gallons to more than 10 million gallons. Inflow is a more direct source of increased water volume such as from connected roof drains or faulty manhole covers, whereas infiltration is more gradual such as from water seepage due to root intrusions into sewer lines.
Tozeski and Sewer Commissioner Joseph Zecco lamented the fact that the treatment plant had to process what amounts to clean water and incur higher costs during these periods of increased volume, but Tozeski said the town was conducting house-to-house surveys in areas thought to be major sources of inflow and infiltration in an attempt to mitigate the problem.
Town Manager Dan Morgado said that he did not foresee a need to raise water and sewer rates in the immediate future and that current costs were in line with his projections.