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The Department of Public Works began the process of a sewer separation project in the Union Street area in the spring of 2022. Although only the Union Street area falls within the Consent Decree zone, residents in the adjacent Willard Avenue area have complained about sewer odors, so the City will address that issue by installing separate sewer and stormwater mains in this area at the same time. As part of the City’s Wastewater Master Plan and Long Term Control Plan, separating wastewater from stormwater is an ongoing responsibility under the Consent Decree agreement between the City of Portsmouth and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES). The project involves the installation of three separate water mains: one for drinking water, one for wastewater and one for stormwater, along with reconstruction of the streets. The project will help reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs) when the single pipe is flooded with stormwater in heavy rain events.
The City and its consultants are in the preliminary stages of design. Public meetings (Feb 2 and Jun 28) were held to inform Willard Avenue property owners about the project. The Consent Decree states that the sewer separation project must be substantially completed by October of 2023.
This project includes the reconstruction of the Willard Street area from Middle Street to Marston St. and includes Orchard St and Ash St. The replacement of sidewalks, pavement, and underground utilities including new storm drains, sanitary sewers and water mains are all a part of the project.
Final design continues on and will be complete near the end of 2023.
This project is part of the City’s continued sewer separation to reduce combined sewer overflows.
Project Status: 85% design complete. Construction anticipated in 2024.
Zachary Cronin, Assistant City Engineer
603-610-7304 or 603-957-8795
Funding Source: Funding anticipated from Sewer System Upgrade bonding (CIP FY24-29 p. 56)
Designer/Contractor: CMA Engineers, Inc.
JUN 28, 2022. Go to video recording of the meeting. Go to a PDF of the presentation.
Detailed map of utilities layout.
Detailed map of proposed road and sidewalk configuration.
FEB 2, 2022 – Willard Avenue Area Sewer Separation Project
Revised map of Orchard Street:.
City staff and the project design consultant CMA Engineers shared details on the project and solicited residents’ thoughts on project requirements and opportunities. The meetings included a review of the existing site conditions, contemplated improvements, the design schedule, and a question and answer period. Future public meetings will address the proposed design approach and overall construction timeline.
Through February, the City and its subcontractors surveyed homes and buildings in the area to determine the location and elevation of sewer service pipes from each building. This review ensures that the new sewer main accommodates these outflows properly. The City is working with CMA Engineers (Portsmouth, NH) and Flow Assessment (Auburn, NH) to conduct those surveys and asks for your cooperation and assistance.