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Town awards water contract

Selectmen give design job to Veolia Water

September 21, 2010
STURBRIDGE — The Board of Selectmen awarded a contract for engineering and design for upgrades to a town water treatment plant and heard monthly status reports from department heads during its Monday, Sept. 20 meeting.

The board awarded the design and engineering contract of $119,919 for the water treatment plant to Veolia Water, of Brockton, which handles the town water, and Wright-Pierce, an engineering company out of Andover.

Town Administrator Shaun Suhoski explained that the town had received a consent order from the state Department of Environmental Protection requiring the town to bring the water department into compliance or to face fines of up to $1,000 per day after 30 days. Suhoski said he had been in meetings with DEP representatives and the companies involved in the project to get an updated timeline for the project that would allow the town to avoid fines.

The project, explained Shane Moody of Veolia, is necessary because one of the town wells, Well No. 1, was classified as "groundwater under the influence of surface water." Moody explained that in 1992, the DEP began requiring that public water systems demonstrate that groundwater sources are not under the influence of surface water. In May 2007 and May 2008, a microscopic particulate analysis test of Well No. 1 indicated a "moderate risk" that the well was influenced by surface water.

For the benefit of the audience, Chairman Thomas Creamer asked Moody to clarify whether the town's drinking water was safe.

"Absolutely," he said. "The drinking water is safe."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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