A Letter From The Director of Public Works
January 7, 2020
Dear Community Members,
The Plainville Public Water System continues to face many challenges in its effort to provide clean safe drinking water to the residential and commercial customers it serves.
Although our recent efforts to improve water quality have been very successful, new challenges have risen to the surface.
Recent well cleaning and inspection of the wells located behind the Highway Garage have resulted in the shut down of one well due to deterioration of the well screen and casing, and the reduction of volume withdrawn from the second well due to similar deterioration.
The Special Town Meeting held this past fall approved funding to design, permit and construct two new wells. These wells will be replaced within the existing well field.
Plainville is also struggling to meet the current demand for water, which has grown significantly over the past few years and will continue with any new growth. The Board of Selectmen and the Department of Public Works are making efforts to find new sources to meet current and future demand.
The Special Town Meeting held this past fall approved funding to research a new water well within the Turnpike Lake area and to determine what may be required for design, permitting and construction of this resource, as well as improvements to the Turnpike Lake Treatment Plant including an increase of treatment capacity.
In the short term, the Town has negotiated additional water purchase from the Town of North Attleborough to help during periods of peak demand and will consider implementing strict water conservation efforts to ensure adequate supply is available for public health and safety.
In closing the following report details the 2019 operation of the Plainville Public Water System.
Director of Public Works
The Plainville Department of Public Works primary mission is the delivery of clean, safe potable water to the community for consumption. Our goal is to provide the community with water that is not only safe but dependable. Our team works diligently to continually improve the water treatment process and protect our water resources.
Our Team Delivers
The water delivered to Plainville's consumers is regulated by state and federal laws, and as such, all of our water treatment plant operators must be licensed and are required to continuously update their training to meet all regulations and standards. Our licensed water professionals have a basic understanding of a wide range of subjects, including chemistry, biology, math, and physics. Our operators are tasked with:
- Operating and maintaining equipment to disinfect and distribute potable drinking water;
- Monitor and inspect machinery, meters, gauges, and operating conditions;
- Conduct tests and inspections on water and evaluating the results;
- Maintaining optimal water chemistry;
- Applying data to formulas that determine treatment requirements, ﬂow levels, and concentration levels;
- Documenting and reporting test results and system operations to regulatory agencies; and
- Serving our community through customer support, education, and outreach.
When you turn on your faucet, take a shower, or pour a glass of water please think of the skilled professionals who stand behind each drop.
Plainville’s Water Supply
The Town of Plainville supplies water to 2,400 water service connections within the community through groundwater wells, treatment plants, pump stations, water storage tanks, and water mains.
Plainville’s Water Resources
Plainville’s water is drawn from groundwater sources. Groundwater is one of Plainville’s most valuable resources. Groundwater is the water found underground in the cracks and spaces in soil, sand, and rock. It is stored in and moves slowly through geologic formations of soil, sand, and rocks called aquifers.
Seasonal variations in rainfall and the occasional drought affect the "height" of the underground water level. Withdrawing water from a well causes the water levels around the well to lower.
During periods of peak demand, outdoor water conservation restrictions are typically needed to ensure minimum volumes of water are available for public health & Safety.
These restrictions can range from limited outdoor watering to a temporary ban on outdoor watering, depending on the conditions of the resource.
Plainville withdraws water from several groundwater wells in three separate wellfields located near Turnpike Lake, Lake Mirimichi and at the rear of the Highway Garage off of West Bacon Street.
|Sources||MassDEP Source ID||Source Type||Location|
|4238000-01G||Ground Water||171 E. Bacon St.|
|Well #2||4238000-02G||Ground Water||171 E. Bacon St.|
|Well #3||4238000-05G||Ground Water||171 E. Bacon St.|
|Well #1||4238000-06G||Ground Water||Mirimichi Pump Station|
|Well #2||4238000-07G||Ground Water||Mirimichi Pump Station|
|Well #3||4238000-08G||Ground Water||Mirimichi Pump Station|
|Well #3||4238000-09G||Ground Water||Rear of 33 W. Bacon St.|
The Conditions of Our Wells
The Turnpike Lake Wells are currently operational.
The Lake Mirimichi wells were taken oﬀ line in September of 2017 due to elevated levels of iron and manganese. The Mirimichi Pumping Station/Treatment Plant does not have a system to remove these contaminants.
The West Bacon Street wells were taken offline for cleaning and inspection in July. Results from that inspection showed significant deterioration in one well and moderate deterioration in the second well. The first well is no longer a suitable source of water and has been taken offline. The second well will be put back online at a limited pumping rate.
New wells will be installed to replace both of these wells.
Water System Facilities
Turnpike Lake Treatment Facility
Water is drawn from the Turnpike Lake Wells, which is treated at the Turnpike Lake Treatment Plant. The water goes through a filtration process to remove iron and manganese and is disinfected; it is then routed to both the water storage tanks; and the distribution system to the community through water mains that feed service lines to water consumers.
North Attleborough Water treatment Plant
Through an Inter-Municipal partnership with the Town of North Attleborough, raw water is drawn from Plainville’s well #3 and pumped to the North Attleboro Treatment Plant where it is filtered and disinfected and then enters the Plainville water distribution system through the Everett Street Booster Pump Station.
Water Storage Tanks
Water storage is essential to meet all of Plainville’s domestic, industrial and ﬁre demands. Plainville has two storage tanks, the East Bacon Water Storage Tank and the Sharlene Water Storage Tank. Each of the tanks are ﬂat bottom cylindrical tanks.
The East Bacon Water Storage tank is a steel structure with the capacity to hold 1.5-million-gallons of water. The tank was cleaned, inspected and lined in 2016.
The Sharlene Water Storage Tank is a concrete structure with the capacity to hold 1.5-million-gallons of water. The Sharlene tank was cleaned and inspected in 2018.
Water Pumping Stations
Plainville’s ﬁve booster pump stations are instrumental in pressurizing the water distribution system for elevated segments of Town to maintain constant reliable water supply and pressure.
Plainville's distribution system contains approximately 58 miles of pipeline of various sizes from six to twelve-inch pipe. The School Street water main was replaced in 2019.
Planning for Our Future
We recognize the tremendous responsibility to provide you with high-quality drinking water 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. Water is vital not only to our health and well being but to our economy and way of life. The Plainville Public Works is continually evolving our planning process to provide our community with a safe and reliable water system.
- Annual flushing of water mains to remove sediment
- Replacement of undersized and or older water mains
- Inspection, repairs and improvements to Pump Stations and Treatment Plants
- Cleaning and inspection of water storage tanks
- Cleaning, inspection and restoration of water well systems
- Upgrades to our meter reading and billing system to ensure accuracy
As mandated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulation, 310 CMR 22.00 Plainville’s water is sampled and tested quarterly at the South Street Market and Heather Hill for trihalomethanes (TTHM) and Haloacetic Acids (HAA5).
To ensure water quality, the Plainville Department of Public Works exceeds the mandated monitoring, by testing monthly for total organic carbon and by performing weekly monitoring of:
- Water Temperature
Necessary measures will be taken to protect our water supply including a water ban during peak season (May 1st through September 30th). The reduction in water consumption is necessary to ensure that the demand for public health and safety for our community is met.
Do Your Part To Help Protect Our Water Supply:
In order to ensure its availability, while saving you money at the same time, it is critical that everyone practice good water conservation.
Tips for Water Conservation in Your Home:
- When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
- Dishwashers typically use less water than washing dishes by hand. Now, Energy Star dishwashers save even more water and energy.
- If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.
- Designate one glass for your drinking water each day, or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
- Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
- Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Instead, compost vegetable food waste and save gallons every time.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap. Visit: www.plainville.ma.us/water-conservation for more information about how you can conserve water.
Frequently asked Questions
How is My Water Treated?
In order to maintain compliance with Federal and State Drinking Water Standards, Plainville well water must be treated before it reaches consumers’ taps. The Turnpike Lake Treatment Plant treats water from groundwater wells which is filtered for iron & manganese removal, pH adjusted for corrosion control, and disinfected with chlorine and ultraviolet light.
We regularly and routinely receive water from the Town of North Attleboro Water Treatment Plant. The water is treated with Chlorine, pH adjusted, fluoridated, and has iron and manganese removed by pressure filtration methods. This treated water we receive is equal to the volume we pump from our wells at the rear of the highway department off West Bacon Street.
How Are These Sources Protected?
The Department of Environmental Protect prepared a Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP) Report for our drinking water sources to contamination. The results of the assessment are available at the Plainville Water Operations Office and online at www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/08/my/4238000.pdf.
Some of the land uses that exist within groundwater recharge areas include gas stations, auto repair shops, electrical manufacturers, and underground storage tanks. The Plainville Water System was assigned a highly susceptibility ranking in the SWAP Report. We have established protective land-use restrictions to reduce exposure to certain contaminants including bylaws to protect Zone II drinking water well recharge areas. For more information, call Steve Nunnery, Superintendent at (508) 695-6871.
Residents can help protect sources by:
- Practice good septic system maintenance
- Taking hazardous household chemicals to hazardous materials collection days
- Limit pesticide and fertilizer use, etc.
What are Potential Sources of Contamination?
Sources of Drinking Water (both tap water and bottled water) include lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land, or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or human activity. Contaminants that may be present in source water include;
Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.
Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals can be naturally occurring or result from urban stormwater runoﬀ, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining and farming.
Pesticides and Herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agricultural, urban stormwater runoff and residual uses;
Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and organic chemicals that are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, that can come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems.
Radioactive contaminants can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining.
In order to ensure that Tap Water is safe to drink, The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prescribe regulations that limit the number of certain contaminants in water provided by the Public Water System. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water that must provide protection for public health.
Water Quality Test Results
The water quality information presented in the following table(s) is from the most recent round of testing done in accordance with the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments. All data shown was collected during the last calendar year unless otherwise noted.
Regulated Contaminants are those for which the EPA has set legal limits on the levels allowed in drinking water. The limits reflect both the level that protects human health and the level that water systems can achieve using the best available technology.
|Lead and Copper||Year Sampled||90th Percentile||Action Level||MCLG||No. of Site Sampled||No. of Sites Above Action Level||Possible Source of Contamination|
systems; erosion of
systems; erosion of
leaching from wood
|Inorganic Contaminant||Date(s) Collected||Range Detected||Highest Detected Level||MCL or MRDLG||MCLG or MRDLG||Violation (Yes/No)||Possible Source of Contamination|
leaching from septic
erosion of natural
and blasting agents.
Water additive used
to control microbes.
|Disinfection Byproducts||Date(s) Collected||Range Detected||Highest Detected Level||MCL or MRDLG||Violation (Yes/No)||Possible Source of Contamination|
|Site 1 Haloacetic Acids (HAA5s) (ppb)||Quarterly|
|Site 2 Haloacetic Acids (HAA5s) (ppb)||Quarterly|
|Site 1 Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) (ppb)||Quarterly|
|Site 2 Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) (ppb)||Quarterly|
Unregulated Contaminants are those for which the EPA has not established drinking water standards. The purpose of unregulated contaminant monitoring is to assist EPA in determining their occurrence in drinking water and whether future regulation is warranted.
|Unregulated Contaminants||Date(s) Collected||Highest Result Detected||Range Detected||Possible Source of Contamination|
|Manganese (ppb)||Naturally found mineral in the earth|
|Sodium (ppm)||Discharge from the use and improper storage of sodium-containing de-icing compounds or in water-softening agents.|
Definitions to assist you in understanding the test results:
ppb: parts per billion, or micrograms per liter (ug/l)
Maximum Contamination Level (MCL): The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.
Maximum Residual Disinfectant (MRDL): The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants (ex. chlorine, chloramines, chlorine dioxide).
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immunocompromised persons such as those with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, those who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune systems disorders, some elderly, and infants may be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. The U.S. EPA/CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 or http://water.epa.gov/drink/hotline.