Route 79 Project Advisory

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Waste Water Treatment Facility

The City of Fall River’s Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility was the recipient of the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies AMSA 2007 Peak Performance Silver Award, the 2007 US Environmental Protection Agency Award for New England Region 1, Operations and Maintenance Excellence Award, and the 2007 Excellence Award from the Massachusetts Water Pollution Control Association.

Located on Bay Street, the facility is designed to process 106 million gallons of water per day. This process takes place 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

The Fall River Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility provides secondary treatment and is designed to service the City of Fall River and portions of the Towns of Westport, Freetown and Tiverton, Rhode Island.

Treated effluent is discharged to the Mount Hope Bay. Stringent effluent discharge limits have been established by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). These stringent discharge limits are defined within the City’s regulatory issued National Pollution Discharge Elimination Systems Permit (NPDES).

Fall River’s Wastewater Treatment Facility processes domestic waste from homes, commercial waste from restaurants, industrial waste from City manufacturing plants and infiltration from groundwater entering sewer lines.

A 3-mile long “combined sewer overflow” abatement system (CSO) also transports waste for treatment, helping reduce the pollution of the area bays and rivers.

The facility also has the capability to help manage large quantities of water produced by storms. When a storm occurs and the volume of water is too great for sewer lines to handle, shaft interceptor lines are closed. Shaft valves are then opened, leading the water into the tunnel and minimizing the impact on area rivers. Then, water is moved from the tunnel into the sanitization process.

Throughout the stages of purification, “waste water” is removed of impurities, such as large and small debris, grease and harmful bacteria. The “sludge” and “scum” removed from the water is then disposed of in landfills, leaving clean water to be discharged into Mount Hope Bay.

Aside from cleaning water, The Waste Water Treatment Facility also closely monitors what kinds of impurities are entering their facility. They are committed to reducing pollution that enters the City and its water supply.