Senate Leaders Target Massachusetts Water, Sewers

Leaders in the Massachusetts Senate are proposing a bill designed to shore-up the state’s water and sewer infrastructure. It would significantly increase the amount local communities can borrow at low interest rates to improve and protect water supplies.

“Because of the power of our local resources, we are not facing the same tough choices as other states. We will not need to compromise our environmental standards,” says Therese Murray, president of the Senate. “In Massachusetts, we can have our water and drink it, too.”

The bill’s sponsors say it would create a “leak classification system” to make sure high-hazard leaks are fixed quickly.

The push comes three years after a major water main break forced a “boil water order” for 2 million eastern Massachusetts residents.

A 2012 report found the state faces a $21 billion shortfall over the next two decades to keep drinking and wastewater systems in a state of adequate repair.

The Associated Press and the State House News Service contributed to this report.