West Acton Sewer Information

2019.02.27 West Acton Sewer Project (webpage)

Project Overview

The West Acton Sewer Continuation Project is a continuation of the sewer program started in 1945. Since 2002, the Town has owned and operated a public sewer system which currently serves South Acton, Kelly's Corner and the AB High School Campus. As part of the approval from the state to build the system, the Town was required to plan for future areas to continue the sewer project. West Acton was identified as a high-need, future area to connect to sewer.

An investment was made in 2002 to not only provide sewer to the existing sewer area, but to provide additional capacity for these future areas. Future areas to connect were identified in a Comprehensive Water Resource Management Plan (CWRMP) which identified areas town-wide where septic systems were potentially either environmentally or economically not viable. The report was required and approved by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in 2006. The Town has been making progress on meeting the goals of the CWRMP since.

West Acton Sewers has been a goal of the Board of Selectmen (2014-16), a goal of the Acton 2020 Master Plan and a priority of the CWRMP. In 2017 the Selectmen formed the West Acton Sewer Action Advisory Committee (WASAAC) to study feasibility of sewering West Acton.

Current Project Status [Last Updated August 16, 2019]

Information about the preliminary design area can be found here.

It is anticipated that the sewer project will be voted on at the December 10, 2019 Special Town Meeting. Prior to Special Town Meeting, the Committee will be evaluating the project limits of the sewer area and conducting outreach at several public forums. See "Next Steps & Timeline".

Next Steps & Timeline

It is anticipated that the preliminary design will be completed by early-fall 2019. WASAAC will continue their public outreach and study of feasibility of the project prior to making a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen. It is anticipated that the sewer project in its entirety will be voted on at the December 10th, 2019 Special Town Meeting.

Timeline & Events:

  • September 12th - WASAAC Committee Meeting & Public Forum at Town Hall to finalize project limits
  • September22nd - WASAAC Information at the Acton Boxborough Farmers Market
  • September 26th - Senior Center/Human Services Open House (30 Sudbury Road)
  • October 10th - WASAAC Committee Meeting & Public Forum at Villageworks, Mass Ave West Acton
  • Late October/early-November - Estimated sewer assessments mailed to property owners in project area
  • November 14th - WASAAC Committee Meeting & Public Forum 
  • December 10th Special Town Meeting - Final Design & Construction Funds vote
  • Construction - 2-3 years after approval of construction funds (2020-2023)
    • Phase 1 (June 2020 - August 2020) - Gates/Douglas sewer connection (Spruce Street and Mass Ave)
    • Phase 2 (May 2021 - November 2022) - Remainder of construction in West Acton sewer area
  • Spring 2023 - Final sewer assessments sent to sewer project area (start of sewer assessment payments)

Why West Acton?

  1. Third highest ranked priority area identified by CWRMP: 
    • "The majority of lots...due to the proximity of Middle Fort Pond Brook [are limited for] onsite wastewater systems due to wetlands and high groundwater" 
    • "..over 50% of the developed parcels [in West Acton] are classified as [limited septic] parcels. This is the second greatest percentage in the identified Needs Areas"
  2.  Sewers may provide option for new school building
  3. Sewers are vital for Economic Sustainability:
    • CWRMP: "[West Acton] is targeted for economic growth"
    • Acton 2020 Goals: "Consider extension of sewer...in West Acton...to serve...commercial area...and high priority neighborhood identified in the [CWRMP]"
    • "..sewer is exactly the critical piece of infrastructure West Acton needs to sustain the expanding village economy. It will support the walkable and lively town center that the residents of our community say they want" - Mathias Rosenfeld, West Acton Villageworks Owner