The view from the corner office at CLF Boston is not always glamorous. For the past few days, the sights and sounds outside our building on Summer Street have been dominated by environmental remediation trucks. With their humming, rattling pumps, hoses and generators, it’s admittedly been a little distracting to those of us on the other side of the windows.
However, it’s a welcome intrusion to those of us who know what’s going on under the surface of the street. The trucks are performing vital maintenance on the underground storm sewers that pipe rainwater from our streets into rivers and out to sea. When the catch basins under the street grates become clogged with debris and leaves, they no longer trap trash and pollutants as designed. So regular clean-outs (often done with a large vacuum truck) are vital. And the network of sewer pipes under the City of Boston (like many municipalities) is aging and needs repair as well. Rumor has it that cameras are being installed to monitor for leaks or cracks in the pipes underground.
As an organization that’s spent decades fighting for clean water throughout New England, the maintenance of the water infrastructure right under our feet is one of those scenes that, quite literally, drives the original goals–and results–of our advocacy home.