Big Dig leaking 27 times more water than the allowed limit

| 6/21/2006

No one is arguing the fact that there's water flowing into the tunnels of Boston's Big Dig project – which carries major sections of Interstates 95 and 93 below the city and below Boston Harbor.

What's in contention now is just how much water is coming in and where it's coming from.

The Associated Press reported that more than a million gallons of water per month got into the tunnels during the first four months of 2006. That's more than 27 times the allowed amount of 36,000 gallons, as stated in the project's permit from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority .

By contrast, about 6.75 million gallons, or about 1.6 million gallons per month, poured into the tunnels during the first for months of 2005.

Those numbers include water trucked in to wash tunnel walls, rainwater, snow and ice falling off vehicles, and leaks in the tunnels.

The Water Resources Authority has ordered the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority to detail how much water is coming from which source, a task the Authority said may be impossible.