Sewer Commission hires new engineering consultant

Sep 17, 2023

At its Thursday, Sept. 15 meeting, the Sewer Commission voted to accept the six-month contract of Charles Lombardi of O&M Solutions who will perform an organization review and evaluation of operations at the sewage facility and collection system.

Though Lombardi will not be involved in any of the current or future repairs to the Water Pollution Control Facility, his arrival has proven timely with the Town Meeting on Monday, Oct. 23, where the Commission has submitted a request to reconsider the $36 million sewage facility repairs.

At the Monday, July 24 Special Town Meeting, voters denied the borrowing authorization. Now, the Commission is asking again, arguing that the “headworks” and “clarifier,” which deal with sewage at the first and second steps of the treatment process, are reaching the end of their useful life and that replacing them is critical to keeping the plant functioning.

One of the tasks Lombardi will be performing is to prepare a condition assessment report for the sewage facility and various pumping stations.

He will also be visiting known problem areas within the town’s sewer and storm drainage systems.

Water Pollution Control Facility Director Guy Campinha said an additional benefit to this contract is the access the town will have to engineering support.

Campinha said, “One thing the town of Wareham is lacking is a staff engineer to work with all engineers because engineers have — like doctors — they have their specialties.”

“So the town needs a general engineer, if you will, to help evaluate, and then to talk with the engineers that have their specialties,” Campinha added. “Then make sure, within that language and everything else, that we're getting what we need.”

He said, “It's one of the things we've always advocated for here.”

Pigeon said oftentimes, town boards and committees will hire its own temporary specialist when a problem arises such as with engineering. For example, the Sewer Commission may hire a specialist while the Planning Board hires a specialist of their own. 

Pigeon has been working closely with other town officials, including the Planning Board, Redevelopment Authority and Health Department, to better understand the relationships these departments have with sewers.

“This gentleman can cross over and tell us what we're not doing to interact with each other to work more constructively,” he said.