WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A major infrastructure project is underway at the West Parish Filters Water Treatment Plant in Westfield.

These improvements, scheduled to be completed by 2027, will affect approximately 250,000 customers in communities like Springfield and Ludlow.

The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission hosted a tour and roundtable discussion to observe the progress of phase one of a $550 million project to improve and replace the aging West Parish Filters Water treatment plant. The multi-phase project will replace buildings in the plant that are approximately 50 and 90 years old.

Executive Director Joshua Schimmel of the Springfield Water and Sewer Commissioner told 22News about the changes he hopes to see once the infrastructure project is complete, “First and foremost we are going to have regulatory compliance which we had struggled with some issues with water quality. But even more importantly than that, our ability to continuously provide safe drinking water, high quality drinking water to our customers is paramount to what we do, it’s our mission.”

Congressman Richard Neal attended the tour, as he was key in securing the federal money making this project possible.

To offset some of the cost impacts of this project, the commission will be voting next week on a 6.5 percent rate increase on the drinking water and waste water. Commissioner Schimmel predicts these rates will go back down once the project is complete.