Woods Hole Infiltration Reduction Project

The Falmouth Wastewater Division began implementing the Woods Hole Infiltration Reduction (Sewer Lining) Project in January 2016 in order to reduce the amount of infiltration into the Woods Hole area wastewater system.


Much of the wastewater collection system in Woods Hole was installed in the late 1940s and early 1950s and consists of vitrified clay pipe and brick manholes. Groundwater can enter, or "infiltrate into," the sewer system through cracks in the pipe, separations at pipe joints, and gaps between bricks in the manholes. This infiltrated non-wastewater flow takes up valuable sewer system capacity and wastes electricity since it is pumped up to the treatment plant and goes through the treatment process.


The Woods Hole Sewer Infiltration Reduction Project involves pre-cleaning and pre-inspecting the sewer mains and manholes, and then lining the pipes using "cured-in-place" pipe lining technology, and lining manholes with cementious material. The pipe lining technology is "trenchless," which means that it will be accomplished without excavation - a cloth pipe liner will be pulled from one manhole to another, then cured in place. While each section of pipe is lined, wastewater will be pumped around that pipe section, using a portable pump and temporary piping laid out along the ground surface ("bypass pumping").
This trenchless construction method is significantly less disruptive and less costly than excavation and complete replacement of pipes and manholes would be. The new pipe will be a fully structural pipe with a slightly smaller internal diameter but smoother surface, free of roots and cracks. This project will however cause some impacts to the area during construction, including traffic and parking disruption, construction noise and sewer service interruptions. Traffic and parking disruption will occur because cleaning, inspection and lining will all involve parking large trucks/equipment over manholes in the streets to access the manholes and pipes. These trucks will make noise, particularly during the cleaning and lining operations. The bypass pumping operation will also generate noise.

Service Interruption

Each property in the project area will experience temporary sewer service interruption for up to 8 hours as the pipe is lined in the road or easement abutting the property, and then about 2 hours as the "T liner" connecting the sewer lateral to the sewer main is installed.

In general, construction is being conducted during the day and all construction operations/noise will cease for the night. However, night-time operations will occur in some locations (for example, along portions of Water Street) where it is determined through coordination with abutters that night-time work would actually be less disruptive.

Additional Notifications / Information

Not every sewer pipe in Woods Hole will be lined (only those in condition that merits lining), and therefore not every property in the sewer service area will be directly affected by the project.

The Contractor will distribute notices to directly affected property owners approximately 1 week before the work commences in the area, and again approximately 24 hours before work before commences.