NAHANT — The town is asking residents to limit water use while crews work to repair an emergency sewer main break on the Lynnway.
“We are asking residents to conserve as much water as possible and advising commuters that there will be an impact to traffic,” said Town Administrator Tony Barletta.
A section of the Lynnway was reduced to one lane Monday as crews worked to fix the break. When this happened two years ago, it caused a significant traffic backup for commuters coming from Boston, said Barletta.
The extent of the break or the impact it will have on residents is still unclear. In the meantime, residents are asked to conserve water in an effort to reduce sewage, said Barletta.
An 18-inch pipe transports waste from Nahant to the Lynn Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant off the Lynnway on a Commercial Street extension. While the pipe is in Lynn, the agreement with Nahant requires the town to make any repairs, according to Daniel O’Neill, executive director of the Lynn Water and Sewer Commission.
Pumps that usually push the sewage to the Lynn plant have been shut down while crews work to repair the problem. While they’re off, waste will instead be trucked to the plant.
“We’re trying to minimize the amount of trucking,” said Barletta. “Once the pipe is fixed and the pumps turn back on, we don’t have to worry about it as much. It’s just a temporary request to conserve as much as possible until further notice.”
But the problem doesn’t end there.
The town is currently under contract with Wright-Pierce, an environmental engineering firm, for a sewer main assessment to study the condition of the town sewer and provide potential solutions to be considered in the future, said Barletta.
“This sewer main break further emphasizes the need for the town to take on a major infrastructure repair project in the coming years,” he said.
The April 2017 sewer break cost the town more than $1.3 million.