Superintendent John Scenna is pleased to announce that the Lynnfield Center Water District will begin studying possible options for improving water distribution and quality in the Apple Hill area, off Lowell and Chestnut Streets near the North Reading Line.
Together with consultant CDM Smith, LCWD will investigate ways to deliver improved and more consistent water clarity and quality to customers in the area, where complaints of discoloration due to mineral buildup have been most prevalent in recent years. This work is meant to provide a more immediate improvement in service, while studies of long-term infrastructure improvements to alleviate customer concerns continue.
The District is actively seeking to learn more about the source of the discoloration issue in this area, and address inconsistency in where and when issues occur. Doing so will allow the District to determine what steps it can take in its daily operations to improve conditions.
A few weeks ago, LCWD conducted water sampling at various locations in the Apple Hill area. They tested for factors like iron and manganese levels, temperature, chlorine levels, alkalinity, oxygen content and color. The testing was conducted prior to the fall flushing program, and a second round of testing this week will help provide engineers with a new set of data that will clarify the impact flushing had and guide their work going forward.
Doing so will allow engineers to compare multiple areas along the Apple Hill portion of the distribution system in order to better understand differences in the quality, consistency and makeup of the water. LCWD selected a variety of homes in the area, including some with a documented history of discoloration issues.
LCWD implemented a twice-yearly flushing program in this area of the District, and intends to expand flushing – which helps to clear natural-occurring mineral buildup in underground pipes – throughout the district as early as 2020.
“We’re working to take proactive steps with our partners at CDM to ensure we fully understand the issues affecting our customers in the Apple Hill area and are doing everything feasible to address their concerns with long term solutions,” Superintendent Scenna said. “We’re committed to making this process as transparent and inclusive of customers as possible so that all of the stakeholders in this process have a better understanding of the issues and the scope of work that’s being done to address customer concerns.”
The District’s work in the area will also include the distribution of a survey to aid in the collection of data from residents, as well as hydraulic modelling of the system by CDM to determine the impact certain changes to standard operating procedures may have on improving service.
“The Board of Commissioners has made public information about this work a priority,” said Chairman Robert Almy. “It’s important for customers to know that they are not being ignored and that we have a plan in place to try to improve conditions and consistency in their water quality.”
Customers in the Apple Hill area are invited to attend a public workshop on Thursday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. at the Lynnfield Meeting House. This workshop will provide residents with an update on the process and serve as an opportunity for all stakeholders to ask questions of one another and deepen their knowledge of the complexities involved in finding the root causes of the issues and addressing them in a timely manner.
Superintendent Scenna would like to remind residents about the District’s Filter Rebate Program, which is open to customers who have had documented issues with discoloration. For more information about the rebate program, visit lcwd.us/other-resources/filter-rebate/. In addition, you can see slides documenting the District’s flushing program at lcwd.us/news/.