West Lynn will get flood relief with a newly-approved pump station

LYNN — The City Council approved a request from the Lynn Water and Sewer Commission to construct a $20 million pump station at McManus Field on Tuesday night, which is aimed at alleviating flooding in West Lynn.

Although Robert Fennell, deputy director of the Lynn Water and Sewer Commission, said the pump house is intended for sewer separation and to create more capacity in the city’s system, rather than flood control, City Councilors Darren Cyr and Jay Walsh said they expected the project to bring relief to West Lynn flooding.

Even though it’s not supposed to be set up to alleviate the flooding, Cyr said it should help bring the residents relief in the area.

With the approval, Lynn Water and Sewer was authorized to take about 22,000 square feet of protected open space at McManus Field on Neptune Boulevard for the pump house, but was required under state law to replace that by creating park space at another location in the city.

The council approved a land swap that would replace that land by creating park space at Edmunds Field/Needham’s Landing. Unanimous approval from the Conservation Commission and Lynn Park Commission, along with a two-thirds vote from the state legislature is also required.

“The neighborhood will really benefit from that (being) there,” said Ward 6 Councilor Fred Hogan, who represents the area and worked with Lynn Water and Sewer on the pump house project and securing the location where park space will be created. “Edmunds Field, it’s turning it into open space, a nice park for the residents to enjoy. I’m really happy for the neighborhood.”

Construction on the pump house, which will have the capacity to manage 114 million gallons of stormwater a day, is expected to begin in 2021 or 2022. That’s more than four times the capacity of water the city’s wastewater treatment plant can handle, which can manage up to 25.8 million gallons of water a day.

The pump station is part of a 13-year, $200 million combined sewers outflow project that is scheduled to start in June 2020. Fifteen miles of new piping would be placed between West Lynn and the downtown areas, creating separate sewer and rainwater systems to prevent improper discharge into the ocean and other bodies of water.

The pump house would be designed to collect and push out stormwater to the ocean. It would be intended for significant storms, such as those that created widespread flooding and structural damage over the past couple of years, according to Daniel O’Neill, Lynn Water and Sewer Commission executive director.

The planned CSO project is required to bring the city in compliance with the Massachusetts Clean Water Act and parts of a 2001 consent decree filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which called for cleaning up West Lynn and the downtown. The city was fined $125,000 in 2017 for not being in compliance.

The project is being financed through a loan program offered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

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