Stephen Estes-Smargiassi

Mr. Estes-Smargiassi was a panelist for the Forum’s discussion on Lead Contamination Beyond Flint.

Stephen Estes-Smargiassi is a planner and an engineer. Throughout his career, he has focused on gathering and managing multi-disciplinary teams to design and communicate complex projects to the public. He has a Bachelors of Civil Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University. He lives in Boston where the streets do not follow old cowpaths, although they seem to, loves maps, and has two kids who also love maps. And he proudly drinks tap water, at least in Boston. 

In his 20 years at the MWRA, the regional wholesale water and wastewater provider for the Boston metro area, he has lead or participated in all MWRA drinking water quality initiatives, including treatment decisions for corrosion, microbial and disinfection byproducts control; and outreach and coordination with local and state health officials. He is active with the AWWA Research Foundation, is a QualServe peer review team leader, and has actively participated in water quality regulatory development activities regionally and nationally. 

As part of his responsibilities he managed the MWRA’s successful demand management programs, reducing water demand by over 100 mgd; initiated its GIS system; and coordinated protection planning studies for the 400 square mile Quabbin, Ware River and Wachusett reservoir watersheds, as well as about 40 other smaller supply systems in the metropolitan area. His group is currently producing an integrated master plan to prioritize and schedule improvements to the region’s water and sewer systems. 

He has overseen MWRA’s collaborative efforts to understand and communicate the risks of lead in drinking water since 1993, and has been active in regional and national efforts to review and revise the Lead and Copper Rule. 

He developed the briefing materials used by MWRA’s Board of Directors to make the treatment technology decision for the metropolitan Boston water system and then participated in the successful defense of that decision in federal court. He is responsible for producing and distributing MWRA’s annual water quality report to over 800,000 households, as well as monthly public reports, and using those opportunities to reinforce the bridges built over the past decade to the public health community. He is currently coordinating drinking water quality and public health outcome research to understand and evaluate the recently completed treatment improvements.