EPA requires Quincy to spend $100 million to reduce sewage flowing into Boston Harbor

“We would argue we’ve been doing this work for a long time, and that some of this wasn’t necessary."

Two girls walk along a breakwater on Wollaston Beach in Quincy last summer. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Two years after the federal government sued Quincy for discharging sewage and untreated wastewater into Boston Harbor, the city on Wednesday reached an agreement with the US attorney’s office and the Environmental Protection Agency that will require it to spend more than $100 million to repair its antiquated sewer system.

Over the past decade, in violation of the Clean Water Act, Quincy has discharged a range of pollutants into the harbor and surrounding waterways, including E. coli and other harmful bacteria, federal officials found. Sometimes, with heavy rains, outfalls from the sewer system spread sewage along the city’s coast, including Wollaston Beach and the Adams Shore area.


The settlement requires local officials to implement “extensive remedial measures” to reduce the discharge of sewage and other pollutants into waters that include Quincy Bay, Dorchester Bay, Hingham Bay, the Neponset River, and Boston Harbor, which federal officials said would cost more than $100 million. In addition, the city will be required to pay the government a civil penalty of $115,000.

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