Experts will begin designing a “smart sewer” for Littleton, Mass. to attract business
A small town in Massachusetts is investing in a new sewer system to attract business. According to the Lowell Sun, experts will begin designing a “smart sewer” for Littleton, Mass. Town leaders believe the project will bring many benefits to the area.
According to the Lowell Sun, the system will bring many environmental pluses. Better treatment of wastewater can improve the soil quality and the system should be able to help generate heat and electricity with the way it is designed.
"Littleton Common was really limited in how it can go and what it can attract for businesses," said Anthony Ansaldi, interim town administrator, to the Lowell Sun. "Now, what a sewer system does it put that infrastructure in place that really opens the door for opportunities for restaurants, for bakeries, for coffee shops, for florists and medical buildings with doctor's offices and so forth that now will have an opportunity to move into the common."
According to the Lowell Sun, the “smart” portion comes from the Community Water and Energy Resource Center. The center is a building that brings in discarded food and wastewater and recycles it into clean water, heat, electricity and fertilizers.
The challenges are resulting from the current infrastructure in place in the town. According to the Lowell Sun, the current state law could not support places such as a dentist’s office or a restaurant, limiting the types of businesses that can open.
The owner of Valley Wild Books, Andrew Marciello, has concerns that limited parking will be affected by crews working on a sewer system. However, he is hopeful the project will be helpful.
“I’m happy for the community improving,” Marciello said to the Lowell Sun. “I hope that small businesses like this can continue to come in. If a sewer will help that, great.”
The plan to pursue the project has been going on for a long time. According to the Lowell Sun, studies about expanding the sewer system began around 2010.
“It started then to come up with this idea for the sewer system,” said Chris Stoddard, department of public works director, to the Lowell Sun. “They’d been talking about it for year, but that was really when the legs started turning.”
On Oct. 26, state officials hosted a press conference in town. The conference was to announce the town would receive a $1.5 million MassWorks grant to support the smart sewer project. On Oct. 29, the Town Meeting approved spending $2.2 million on the sewer’s design.