While much of the talk recently has been on a $74 million upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant, upgrades to the water system are following closely behind.
Doug Gove, a consultant with Aecom, reported to the City Council's Public Works subcommittee Monday evening that in the next seven years the water system will need $69 million worth of repairs. However, Gove said there is an option to stagger out the repairs over time to ease the financial burden.
The state Department of Environmental Protection had ordered the testing after it said the Water Department failed over three years to consistently use a soda ash additive to adjust the water's pH to prevent corrision. The additive is designed to adjust the pH to 7 or higher
Cheshire water took home the gold in the 12th annual Rural Water Association Water Taste Test.
Water Department Superintendent Travis Delratez presented the Selectmen on Tuesday with an award the Water Department won in a statewide water tasting competition Sept. 13.
Ward 4 Councilor Christopher Connell wants a commission to oversee the water and wastewater operations.
Connell said years ago there was one but it was halted under former city Commissioner of Public Utilities William Forestell. Now the city is facing what could be up to $150 million worth of capital upgrades to the two treatment centers and Connell wants that commission back in place to make sure everything is done right.
The Selectmen have until the end of the year to make a decision on whether or not to remove Kitchen Brook Dam using state funds.
Eric Ford, a wetlands ecologist with the Division of Ecological Restoration, met with the board and the water commissioners on Tuesday. Although he was able to answer some of the town's questions, the selectmen still were unsure which way to go.
Officials say the city's water is safe, but residents with compromised immune systems are still being cautioned after three water samples came up positive for total coliform bacteria.
According to a letter mailed to residents from the Water Department, random testing in June turned up positive samples of coliform bacteria. However, the department says samples taken from the same sites the next day came up negative.
The City Council on Tuesday unanimously authorized a borrowing of $783,910 for a number of infrastructure upgrades, including an engineering study of the city's two reservoir dams.
Mayor Richard Alcombright said the borrowing will be rolled into a long-term bond in the next couple years. The ability to borrow at this point comes from the stabilization of the city's finances because reserves are up and a significant amount of debt is falling off.
The council's Rule 25 sets out a process for filling mid-term vacancies. Candidates can submit letters of interest and qualifications and are given a chance to speak before the council for three minutes. Members may ask questions of the candidates and then take nominations and vote.
Eight plumbing fixtures in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District have tested positive for actionable levels of lead. All were turned off on Friday.
Faucets and other water fixtures in the three schools in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District were tested for lead and copper in late December through a state grant.
Scott had approached officials earlier this year about taking over the district. The town has applied for a $30,000 technical grant to fund the "legal shepherding" for getting the through the process. McKinney said the district should also hold some type of public affirmation vote before moving forward.
The water in Pittsfield's schools do not have any issues with lead or copper, according to the Health Department.
Health Director Gina Armstrong reported on Wednesday that the water in all of the municipally-owned buildings were tested for the chemicals and none findings were above actionable levels. The report is unlike the one recently released in North Adams, where some 50 water points turned out to have excessive amounts of lead and copper.
An extensive testing of water delivery points in the city's schools has turned up elevated levels of lead and copper.
Some 353 bubblers, faucets and other water taps were tested in September through a state grant through the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust. The results were received this week, with about 50 points identified as exceeding state levels for lead and copper.