Like many communities in the region, the Town of Ipswich is grappling with aging infrastructure and limited resources to adequately maintain its existing capital assets. The infrastructure currently managed by the Ipswich Water and Wastewater Department is critical not only to public health, but also to the economic health of the town’s coastal tourism and shellfishing activities.
The Town is committed to improving its water and wastewater infrastructure and maintaining a high level of service for its ratepayers. However, recent failures of key assets have required that most resources be allocated to emergency repairs rather than long-term planning or preventative maintenance.
The Ipswich Water and Wastewater Department was awarded a grant in 2019 through the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust to develop a comprehensive Asset Management Plan that will help maximize the value of assets, and continue other important capital initiatives. The grant funded $150,000 of the $250,000 project cost. Without grant funding, the asset management planning process would have been delayed and the Departments’ limited funds allocated to reactive maintenance and repairs.
The Town of Ipswich Water and Wastewater Department worked collaboratively with Woodard & Curran to prepare an Asset Management Plan to inventory and assess the current state of the Town’s water and wastewater system assets; evaluate the level of service in terms of quality, quantity, reliability and environmental standards; identify assets critical to sustaining system performance; quantify minimum life cycle costs for critical assets, operations and maintenance; and determine a long-term funding strategy to ensure high-level performance and pipe integrity. Assets considered include, treatment and pumping facilities, existing distribution system and collection system components and storage facilities essential to the function of the system. Results from this assessment are presented in the report below.