- Last Updated: 21 February 2014
- Hits: 46
Below are some common questions about Topsfield's water treatment processes and the water treatment plant project. Please call the Water Department if you have any additional questions or would like more information.
1. How is our water currently treated?
Topsfield's water receives the following treatment before entering the distriubtion system:
- Disinfection - Sodium Hypochlorite is added to disinfect the water.
- Fluoridation - Sodium Fluoride is added to prevent tooth decay.
- pH Adjustment - Potassium Hydroxide is added to reduce Lead and Copper corrosion rates.
- Sequestration - An ortho/poly-phosphate blend is added to the water to delay the creation of nuiscnace manganese particles.
These treatment processes are done through 'inline' treatment. The chemicals are added to the water by a positive displacement pump as the water leaves the source water facility. Some reactions take place quickly such as pH adjustment and fluoridation but others such as disinfection take some time to run to completion. Inline treatment does not remove any constituents from the water, we are only able to add things to the water.
- Last Updated: 10 March 2014
- Hits: 85
Residential water filters, including sediment and activated carbon filters, may remove some of the manganese in our water but can't remove all of it. They may infact remove very litte. The reason is a large portion of the manganese can be dissolved in the water (particles less than 0.45 microns in size) or too small for a typical sediment filter to trap (particles less than 10 microns in size). This is why the Town plans to construct a greensand filter system.
A greensand filter is able to trap the larger particles and chemically react with the remaining manganese, drawing it out of the water through adsorption. Greensand filters are not typically found in a residential settings because the manganese trapped in the filter media periodically needs to be removed by backwashing or regeneration with chlorine and/or potassium permanganate.
- Last Updated: 04 February 2014
- Hits: 129
The Water Department is requesting four capital items for FY2015. The requests inlcude:
- $100,000 for the Perkins Row Station Rehabiiltation Project design work
- $250,000 for storage tank repairs and improvements
- $1.1 million for water main replacement on Washington Street from Colrain Road to River Road
- $800,000 for the Water Treatment Plant design work
- Last Updated: 20 November 2013
- Hits: 502
Update November 2013: The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection recently published new manganese requirements that will utilmately require the Town to reduce its source water manganese concentrations.
The study was initiated in May 2012 and examined possible solutions for the Town's current water quality issues. The options included various types of treatment and purchasing treated water from another community or the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). The main sections of the study are summarized below.
Projected Water Use
Three population models were used to predict future water use. The Massachusetts Division of Conservation and Recreation model shows relatively small change in population by 2030. The MISER projection predicts a decrease of 1000 residents by 2020. The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) predicts the Town's population will increase from 6085 in 2000 to 6800 in 2030. The MAPC projection was used to calculate water use projections. Based on current withdrawals, there will be enough water available to support the projected population assuming a per capita use of 65 gallons per person per day and unaccounted for water of 10% or less. Both of these values are conservative estimates. Maximum daily demand is estimated to be 950 gallons per minute.
- Last Updated: 28 February 2014
- Hits: 542
We test our sources for total manganese on a monthly basis. The results of these tests will be posted on this page as they become available. All results are shown in micrograms per Liter unless otherwise noted. The value shown is the average for the month if multiple samples were taken.
Please review the public notice that was sent to our customers in November 2013 to see how these levels compare to guidance from MassDEP. Manganese levels typically decline as water moves futher away from the sources because it precipitates out of solution and coats the pipe walls. Although system levels are normally low (<300 micrograms per Liter) this level can easily be exceeded when sediment in water mains and home plumbing lines is disturbed.
- Last Updated: 20 November 2013
- Hits: 835
Drinking Water Advisory - Important information about manganese in your drinking water
Manganese is a nutrient that is part of a healthy diet. Drinking water may naturally contain manganese and, when concentrations are greater than 50 micrograms per Liter (µg/L), the water may be discolored and taste bad. Over a lifetime, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that people drink water with manganese levels less than 300 µg/L and over the short term, EPA recommends that people limit their consumption of water with levels over 1,000 µg/L, primarily due to concerns about possible neurological effects. Children up to 1 year of age should not be given water with manganese over 300 µg/L nor should formula for infants be made with that water for longer than 10 days.
Both of our water sources have exceeded the 300 µg/L threshold within the last year. The most recent test results show our source located on Perkins Row contains 394 µg/L of manganese; levels have varied between 150 µg/L and 370 µg/L in 2013 with an average of 313 µg/L. The most recent test result for our source located on North Street contains 94 µg/L; levels have varied between 70 µg/L and 1,270 µg/L during 2013 with an average of 391 µg/L.
- Last Updated: 29 October 2013
- Hits: 436
What is a cross connection? It's an actual or potential connection between a potable water line and any waste pipe, soil pipe, sewer, drain or other unapproved source. These connections pose a threat to public health by allowing contaminants to be siphoned or forced into the public drinking water system under certain hydraulic conditions.
In a residential setting, cross connections include submerged hoses, lawn irrigation systems, chemical spray applicators, connections to private wells, boilers, solar heating systems and fire sprinkler systems. These connections, if left unprotected, could introduce contaminants to the water system. Consumers play an important role in protecting public health by notifying the Water Department of any cross connections and helping to eliminate or properly protect the connection by installing a backflow prevention device.
- Last Updated: 28 August 2013
- Hits: 682
We recently had to change our website software with very little notice. Some of the content from our old site has been transferred but a great deal of work remains. Information will be added as time permits but it will likely take a few weeks to build the site.