Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plant
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The Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plant (also known as Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant) run and operated by The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority is located on Deer Island, one of the Boston Harbor Islands in Boston Harbor. The plant began operating in 1995.
Deer Island is the second largest sewage treatment plant in the United States. The plant is a key part of the program to protect Boston Harbor against pollution from sewer systems in eastern Massachusetts, mandated by a 1984 federal court ruling by Judge Paul G. Garrity in a case brought under the Clean Water Act.
The plant removes human, household, business and industrial pollutants from wastewater that originates in homes and businesses in forty three greater Boston communities. It complies with all federal and state environmental standards and subject to the discharge permit issued for it by EPA and DEP. Its treated wastewater can safely be released into the marine environment. The plant uses primary and secondary treatment to remove 85% of pollution from the water. The resulting effluent is disinfected and then discharged through a 9.5 miles (15.3 km), 24 ft (7.3 m) diameter outfall tunnel into the 100-foot deep waters of Massachusetts Bay.
Five workers were killed during construction of the outfall tunnel. In 1992, a drill operator was thrown from a drilling platform, and a laborer was crushed when a concrete panel fell on him. In 1995, an engineer was crushed inside the tunnel. In 1999, two divers asphyxiated when their air supply equipment malfunctioned as they were removing safety plugs from the diffuser outlets at the end of the tunnel.
Sludge removed from the waste is sent to an array of 150 ft (46 m) egg-shaped sludge digesters, which are major harbor landmarks. Methane from the digesters is captured and helps power the plant. Digested sludge is barged across the harbor to a plant in Quincy, Massachusetts that converts it to fertilizer pellets.
- ^ http://www.mwra.state.ma.us/03sewer/html/sewhist.htm
- ^ Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant. The Center for Land Use Interpretation.
- ^ http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/2005/05/05_harbor.php
- ^ http://www.thelaborers.net/BIG_DIG/questions_in_tunnel_deaths.htm
- ^ http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/articles/2009/08/09/trapped/
- ^ "Islands You Can Visit - Deer Island". Boston Harbor Islands Partnership. http://www.bostonislands.org/isle_deer.html. Retrieved August 21, 2006.
- ^ "Deer Island Factsheet". Boston Harbor Islands Partnership. http://www.bostonislands.org/factsheet_template.asp?rsIslands__MMColParam=deer. Retrieved August 21, 2006.
- Baldwin, Sandy, "Boston Harbor Pipe Dreams Come True!": USGS Visits the Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant and a Cleaner Harbor, USGS Sound Waves, April 2006.
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