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A Simple Solution to Combined Sewer Flooding in Boston's South End

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Abstract:

A relatively simple, innovative, low-cost flap gate and remote sensor system resolved major combined sewer flooding problems in Boston's South End. This neighborhood had been flood-prone since its development in the 1800s. Ground elevations in portions of the South End are just above high tide and many apartments are below street level. Hydraulic modeling demonstrated that a system of flap gates partially blocking pipe connections would effectively limit flow reversals from citywide interceptors. Camp Dresser & McKee Inc. (CDM) designed the proposed improvements in 2000 and the system was constructed that year. Since then, there have been no reports of flooding in the South End. This paper reviews the hydraulic engineering that led to the recommended improvements, and assesses Boston Water and Sewer Commission level sensor data to demonstrate the degree of flood protection the flap gates provide to Boston's South End.

Keywords: Boston; combined sewer; flap gate; flooding; remote sensor system

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/193864710798158328

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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