The following are answers to a few questions you may have. If you need more detailed answers or answers to questions that are not here please feel free to email them to [email protected] with contact information or call our office at 781-334-3901. We may add your question to the list. Please be aware that some of the following answers may seem a little vague, this may be for security reasons.
Periodically property-owners may receive solicitations from companies offering them insurance or some form of a maintenance agreement to protect them from the costs incurred to repair or replace their water service. Although the Water District maintains the water main, gate valve, and meter serving the property, the portion of water pipe running underground from the property line into the building is the responsibility of the owner. Typically water service lines should last thirty to fifty years. Some of the original cast iron services installed in the 1940’s are more susceptible to rusting out and most services installed since then used copper tubing which does not rust out. One factor that may accelerate the deterioration of copper tubing is a poor or improper grounding of the building’s electrical system. This could result in electrical current flowing through the copper pipe causing electrolysis which may corrode the pipe.
As with any decision to purchase insurance or maintenance agreements, the property owner needs to evaluate the financial risk over time versus the ongoing cost of the agreement. The Water District does not advise or oppose the purchase of any agreement nor does it recommend or endorse any specific agreement or company.
All of the pumping stations chlorinate, adjust the pH level, and until June 2016 add fluoride. Starting in June 2016 the District stopped the fluoridation of the water as a result of the 2016 Annual Meeting vote. The District voted to reinstate fluoride at the April 3, 2017 Annual District Meeting. As of June 1, 2018 fluoride has been reinstated in the water.
The water treatment plant located at the Phillips Road pumping station only treats water from a few wells of one well field for iron and manganese removal.
The water distribution is dynamic and the answer depends upon your location relative to the tanks and running wells. At any given time you may receive water from any well or wells or from one of the tanks. The water in the system is a blend of the water pumped in by the wells.
The DEP limits the Districts withdrawal to the registered or permitted volume which is below the total combined capacity of the Districts wells. During period of higher demand the restrictions are imposed to protect the water reserve of the basin.
The Districts total water usage is recorded daily per well and per basin. However withdrawal compliance is on an annual basis so the daily average per basin for the one year period must be within the registered or permitted limit or the District is assessed a DEP penalty.
The DEP has set as a goal 65 gallons of water per person per day. For a typical 2 to 4 person household that equals approximately 60,000 gallons of water per year.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has statutory authority to oversee, protect, and regulate resources such as water. The District has DEP registered withdrawal of 0.29 MGD (Million Gallons per Day) from the Ipswich River Basin and 0.32 MGD from the North Coastal Basin.
During periods of prolonged extremely high demand all well pumps run to supply demand and keep the tanks full. However the level of the water in the tanks may be approaching the height of your second floor therefore resulting in lower water pressure.
Two standpipes or water tanks located at geographically high points are connected to the distribution system. When both tanks are full the pumps turn off. When demand draws down the level of the tanks the pumps run to supply demand and refill the tanks.
Your house is connected to the distribution system of interconnected water mains. Each well is also connected to the same system and pumps water into the system.
The District has two well fields in each basin with one or more wells in each field.
The state is divided into several “Water Basins” delineated by characteristics such as geology, hydraulics, and terrain. The District is located within and draws water from both the Ipswich River Basin and the North Coastal Basin.