Water Department Open House
Mark your calendar for the Water Department’s Open House on Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 5:30 PM-7:30 PM. Below is a list of just some of the exciting things you can do during Open House. There is sure to be something for everyone. Refreshments will be served.
· Everyone’s heard of “Energy Star,” right? Well come learn about EPA’s new “WaterSense Program” for water-efficient products like toilets, faucets, and showerheads.
· Talk to a WaterSense-certified Irrigation Specialist and Installer. Ask how you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your irrigation system.
· Receive free indoor and outdoor water conservation kits
· Educate yourself on organic lawn care and landscaping. Tap the knowledge of two organic landscaping companies that will be present to help you make the transition to being “pesticide-free.”
· Purchase composters and learn about all the ways to recycle from our friends at the Westford Recycling Commission.
· See the design for the Day School Rain Garden project, meet the designers, and ask if a rain garden would benefit your property.
· Bring the kids and let them observe the many different types of aquatic organisms found in Westford’s lakes and streams.
· Receive an update on the perchlorate remediation work going on in Westford and see photos from the recent installation of the waterline on Groton Road.
· Take a tour of our treatment facility which includes ultra violet treatment against microbial contamination and pressurized green sand filters to remove iron and manganese.
· Learn about the role that backflow prevention devices play in protecting the public water system from customer contamination
· Private well owners, you’re invited too! Get your questions answered by staff from the Board of Health, a private analytical laboratory, and as well as the Water Department.
The general public is invited. Hope to see you all on May 6th!!!
UPDATE ON URANIUM FROM WESTFORD WATER DEPARTMENT
On March 6, 2009, the Boston Globe ran an article entitled, “US to test local wells for traces of uranium.” The article explained that the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) are beginning a study of 1,600 private drinking water wells in Massachusetts to identify areas in the state where uranium may exist. Uranium is a naturally-occurring radioactive element that can be found in soil, rock, or water.
The article also stated that “more than 70 public water systems in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut have been found to exceed the EPA threshold for uranium consumption, which is 30 parts per billion.” While two of the public water systems identified are located in Westford, the Westford Water Department would like to reassure its water takers that it is not one of those 70 public water systems. The Westford Water Department has never exceeded standards for uranium or any radionuclide.
To confirm our historical radionuclide data, on March 10, 2009, the Water Department collected 4 samples from its water system for uranium analysis. Samples were collected from the raw water entering each treatment plant and from the treated water leaving each treatment plant. Uranium was not detected in any of the samples (detection limit is 1 ppb). Again, the current MassDEP and Federal maximum contaminant level (MCL) for uranium is 30 ppb.
The Water Department would also like to clarify two other points:
- All Town buildings and Schools are supplied by the Westford Water Department. The reference in the Boston Globe article to a “Blanchard Memorial School” was regarding a school in the Town of Boxborough and not Westford’s Blanchard Middle School.
- Haystack Estates and Wyman’s Beach (Summer Village) were the two public water supplies located in Westford identified in the article. MassDEP has confirmed that both water suppliers treat that water using ion exchange and the treated water does not contain uranium.
Westford residents that have private wells and that are concerned about uranium levels in their drinking water can have their water analyzed at a private laboratory. Laboratory costs are typically around $75 and will require about 1 liter of water to complete the analysis.
For more information on uranium in drinking water please visit the following MassDEP and USGS websites: