Topics: Drinking Water

Water Dept. Looks At Former Pet Cemetery Land

By: William F. Galvin

Contamination May Force Current Site To Be Abandoned HARWICH — The water department is concerned about pollution to the well fields at its Chatham Road site and is considering moving its operation to the land on Queen Anne Road where a pet cemetery was previously proposed. Selectmen asked the real estate and open space committee a couple of weeks ago to assess the future of the parcel, the jurisdiction of w...

Bylaw Calls Into Question Cranberry Fest Fireworks Location

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The town bylaw approved in 2009 establishing a buffer zone around drinking water wells where discharging fireworks is prohibited could spell trouble for the Harwich Cranberry Festival fireworks. For the past two years, the festival fireworks were ignited from Whitehouse Field, which is within the 1,500-foot buffer zone. “It’s news to me,” Fire Chief Norman Clarke said of the prohibition. “You’ve t...

CHATHAM — The town is formulating an increase in the water rates, the first since 2005, as a means of paying for some long-awaited improvements to the water system. But the way the increase is structured has a second goal: to encourage better water conservation among the town’s biggest users. On Monday, selectmen heard a report from Doug Gardner of Pioneer Consulting Group, who presented a new rate structure...

HARWICH — The water department staff had to deal with another water main break along Route 28 last week near the intersection of Brooks Road. Water Department Superintendent Dan Pelletier said there have been four major breaks along that stretch of roadway in the past five years. Pelletier said the break that occurred after 4 p.m. last Thursday released about 150,000 gallons of water. The 10-inch pipe was inst...

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...