Residents of south Eliot and others may have noticed all of the colored paint on the street, sidewalk and even parking strips as well as surveyors blocking traffic on MLK weekend mornings. This is all part of planning for the City’s South Eliot Sewer and Storm Water Project. The project is tentatively scheduled to begin in the spring of 2017, so it is a ways off.
Much of the inner city’s infrastructure was not built to modern standards and is obviously pretty old. This project will address some long standing concerns with the sewer system in south Eliot as well as adding “green street” planters to intercept storm water. The full extent of construction isn’t known just yet. That will follow all of the preliminary survey and testing work underway.
Historically, sewers in this area have been known to back up into basements (yuk!) because the basements are lower than the sewer lines, which are higher than current standards. The City may replace some of these during this process. If they do, they may identify buildings that share a single sewer connection or whose sewer line crosses an adjacent tax lot. When that occurs, the City will require new lines be run to the sewer, at a cost of $5,000 to $10,000 in plumbing expenses and City connection charges. Customers who are legally connected currently are likely to be connected to any new sewer at no charge (that has been the practice anyway).
The Eliot Sewer and Stormwater Project site has more information,. The web site also has the color code for all of those street markings so you can figure out what and where the sewer is versus power and telephone lines. By the way, the mark “COP” means “center of pipe.” It is normally used for sewer lines because they are so large.