Topics: Drinking Water

CHATHAM – South Chatham residents will be happy to learn that they'll soon no longer have to worry about stains from high iron levels in water pumped from a town well in their neighborhood. In September, water from well number seven will begin flowing through the town's new water treatment plant, a $10 million facility designed to remove high levels of iron and manganese from drinking water. Currently, the pla...

CHATHAM — Residents who use town water to keep their lawns green will soon be giving up more green to do so. Selectmen, acting as water and sewer commissioners, voted Monday to adopt new controls on irrigation systems connected to the town water system, outlawing new connections in 2021 and requiring already-connected systems to be placed on separate water meters. Town officials say the demand that irriga...

CHATHAM — It’s been a wet winter and spring, with Chatham receiving almost three and a half inches more precipitation than average since the start of the year. Still, starting on June 15, the town will once again impose voluntary restrictions on water use, even as it considers tightening rules on residential irrigation systems. Town officials say the need for conservation isn’t about a lack of rainfall, but ...

CHATHAM – A number of questions critical to the town's future will face voters at next Monday's annual town meeting, including upgrading drinking water infrastructure, moving forward with a new senior center, protecting Nantucket Sound beaches and mechanisms to pay for benefits for retired town employees. Voters will also be asked to decide if they want to allow retail marijuana sales in town and whether or no...

If you get your drinking water from a private well, a team of public health researchers would like you to volunteer for their study of harmful chemicals in the aquifer. Specifically, researchers are looking for wells that may be contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, a group of chemicals linked with chronic health problems. Often associated with airports and fire training academies ...

Harwich Proposes Quarterly Water Billing, Rate Adjustments

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The water commission will hold a public hearing May 4 on proposals to change to quarterly billing and adjust the rate structure to reflect four billing cycles. The commission supported the changes after weighing a peer review analysis and fee rate study. “The dollar value of the rates stay the same,” said Water Department Superintendent Daniel Pelletier, but the per gallon tier use numbers will be ad...

Expect To Pay More For Water

By: Tim Wood

Revenue Needed To Fund Infrastructure Improvements CHATHAM – A proposed change in the way water use is billed will increase the cost of town water between 10 and 37 percent for most households and businesses. The rate changes eliminate the current allowance of 1,000 cubic feet of water use in the basic residential minimum charge, substituting a lower minimum charge that covers the operating costs of the wat...

Water Main Break Spills 1.4M Gallons

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH PORT — Unfolding during last week’s fierce nor’easter, but completely unrelated to the storm, a major water main break in Harwich Port Friday caused system-wide disruptions and resulted in the loss of about 1.4 million gallons of drinking water. Water Superintendent Dan Pelletier said a six-to-seven-foot linear crack opened in a 10-inch cast iron main under Route 28 near Kildee Road shortly before mi...

Selectmen Seek More Info On Proposed Water Rate Hike

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Selectmen agree that it’s probably time to consider hiking water rates to better maintain and expand the town’s water system. But they don't want to do so in a way that soaks low-income residents or small businesses. Meeting as water and sewer commissioners Tuesday, the board held a hearing on a complex proposal that would increase the amount customers pay for water, both to raise revenue for capital...

Gonsalves Steps Down After 22 Years As Water Commissioner

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Danette Gonsalves said she was 13 years old when she started to hear the names of water commissioners and employees in the water department around her kitchen table. The intricacies of the department's operations became more familiar as she grew up. The flow of water department knowledge came early in her life because her father, Richard Hathaway, served for 21 years as a water commissioner. “At 1...

'Smarter' Water Meters Could Boost Consumers' Usage IQ

By: Alan Pollock

ORLEANS — You don't see a bill for the water you use in July and August until the following February. A lot can happen in that time, including leaks that send water into the ground unused after the town has paid for pumping, treating, and distributing it. In some cases, surprised homeowners are faced with bills for thousands of dollars. They ask for abatements, and more revenue is forfeited. The board of water a...

Payson Remembered As Detail-driven Water Advocate

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — John Payson, who consistently challenged the town's approach to managing drinking water and wastewater, died last Tuesday after a brief bout with cancer. He was 94 years old, and had been doggedly researching water management issues until just a few weeks before his death, according to his family. Mr. Payson was a regular contributor to the development of the town's comprehensive wastewater managem...

APCC Chief Talks About The Politics Of Water Quality

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — In addition to being a former state environmental official and the current executive director for the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, Andrew Gottleib is a four-term Mashpee selectman. And he knows that if constituents don't speak out about an issue, it won't be a priority for his board. That's why in some towns, wastewater planning hasn't really moved the political needle, he said. “In many resp...

The four towns on Pleasant Bay – Brewster, Chatham, Harwich, and Orleans – stepped up their commitment to work together to remove excess nitrogen from their waters. A quorum of each community's board of selectmen, meeting at the Cape Cod Commission's OneCape Summit in Hyannis June 22, voted in turn to approve a resolution crafted by the Pleasant Bay Alliance. The resolution endorses a composite picture of the ...

Town Seeks New Water Pumping Permit

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The water department is presently pumping more water from the aquifer than the state Department of Environmental Protection allows, and town officials are asking the state to grant permission for the town to increase its annual pumping volume. Water Department Superintendent Daniel Pelletier said they presently have permission to pump 786 million gallons per year and they are seeking to increase the ...

Liberty Commons Curbs Water Use

By: Alan Pollock

NORTH CHATHAM — Faced with the potential of someday paying a premium as one of the town's largest consumers of drinking water, Broad Reach Healthcare is turning down the tap. The parent company of Liberty Commons and the Victorian announced last week that it voluntarily put in place water conservation measures that, at least at first blush, seem to be having a beneficial effect. Based on an analysis of ac...