Wareham Water Department gets $50,000 grant  to study pipe strength

Feb 1, 2018

The Wareham Water Department will soon know what improvements its aging drinking water system needs and will determine when to start making those repairs, with the help of a $50,000 grant.

The department received the money, known as the Water Management Act grant, from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Wareham Water Department Superintendent Andrew Reid said the money will be used to conduct tests on portions of the drinking water supply pipes. The oldest pipes were installed in the 1920s, with sections being added until the 1990s. In total, there are 150 miles of pipes.

With the grant, Reid said officials will be able to start budgeting for a massive overhaul of the system, expected to start in 2020 and last up until 2090. The cost to replace the system is an estimated $150 million, said Reid.

“This grant will help us use our money more wisely,” said Reid. “We don’t want to replace it too soon and we don’t want to replace it too late. We’re trying to find a happy medium.”

The money will be used to test the strength and thickness of the pipes.

“That will help us get a good handle on the problem,” said Reid.

Reid offered thanks to State Rep. Susan Williams Gifford (R-Wareham) and State Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) for their support in securing the grant.