- Last Updated: 23 May 2016
- Hits: 10
The Topsfield Water Department has implemented a Mandatory Outdoor Water Use Restriction effective May 26, 2016 due to very low Ipswich River stream flow.
Outdoor water use is restricted to hand-held implements only before 9 AM and after 5 PM. The use of irrigations systems at any time is prohibited. The restrictions apply to public water customers and private well owners.
In addition to curtailing outdoor use the Water Department encourages the following conservation measures:
- Run your dishwasher and clothes washer only when full.
- Fix any leaks around the house.
- Install water efficient toilets, faucets and shower heads.
- Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator, rather than running the faucet.
- Consider replacing water intensive lawns with a xeriscape (low water demand) flower garden.
The mandatory restrictions will be in effect until further notice but typically run through the end of September. Our water withdrawal permit issued by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection requires the implementation of this restriction when Ipsich River average daily flow at the Ipswich Gauge Station falls below 52.5 cubic feet per second for three consecutive days.
- Last Updated: 20 November 2013
- Hits: 8647
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: 13 October 2015
- Hits: 2944
May 1st marks the beginning of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's summer regulatory period. Our water withdrawal permit requires us to implement outdoor water use restrictions when Ipswich River stream flow falls below certain levels from May 1st through September 30th. The permit also restricts the amount of water we can pump during this period to an average of 0.55 million gallons per day.
Stream flow is measured at the United States Geological Survey's gauge station located just downstream of the dam near Foote Brothers Canoe Rental in Ipswich. Click here to view a full screen version of the chart.
A voluntary outdoor water use restriction is required if the average daily stream flow at the Ipswich Gauge drops below 70 cubic feet per second for three consecutive days. If the average daily stream flow continues to drop and falls below 52.5 cubic feet per second for three consecutive days then a mandatory restriction is required. The restrictions stay in effect until stream flow recovers and is above the trigger point for at least 10 consecutive days.
- Last Updated: 20 April 2016
- Hits: 65
The Water Department operates on an enterprise accounting system. Each year the Town is reimbursed for expenses paid on behalf of the Water Department through Indirect Costs. The costs include expenses such as telephone service, insurance, legal fees, financial and personnel services, retirement benefits and police services. The Town Accountant calculates Indirect Costs each year for the last complete fiscal year.
The costs can vary from year to year and are particularly sensitive to changes in staffing levels. The Water Department is comprised of 3 full-time and one part-time employee. Costs rose by 48% in FY2017 because FY2016 costs were artificially low as the multi-year history shows.
In FY2014, on which the FY2016 costs were based, we were down one operator for 8 months of the year which lowered health and retirement expenses. The new operator was hired at the end of FY2014 and costs in FY2015 returned to normal levels. The cost increase from FY2015 to FY2017 is only 3% over two years.
- Last Updated: 20 April 2016
- Hits: 96
Article 26 of the 2016 Annual Town Meeting Warrant refers to a map of proposed easments for the Water Treatment Plant Project. A copy of the map is available at the Water Department Office, the Town Clerk's Office and online.
- Last Updated: 08 April 2016
- Hits: 116
Hydrant flushing will begin on April 18, 2015. It was postponed one week due to poor weather and well cleaning. We plan to follow the normal route which is posed onlne at flushing.topsfieldpublicworks.org
Flushing removes sediment from the water mains, identifies hydrants in need of repair and checks system fire flows. Customers will have rust colored or black water while the water mains are flushed and for a period afterwards. The work will be conducted on weeknights from 9 PM until 1 AM to minimize the disruption. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Manganese levels in areas being flushed will be higher than normal and may exceed levels described in the drinking water advisory issued in November 2013. Do not drink, cook or make formula with the discolored water. Avoid using hot water while the cold water is discolored. Doing so will allow sediment to accumulate in your hot water tank and will take longer for the hot water to clear.
- Last Updated: 03 May 2016
- Hits: 6458
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.
A system map (14 MB) showing the test sites and water mains is available to help customers determine which sampling sites are closest to their homes.
- Last Updated: 23 March 2016
- Hits: 1950
The Town approved funding for the design of a water treatment facility to remove manganese from the source water. The Town has hired Woodard & Curran as the Owner's Project Manager and Wright-Pierce as the designer. Design work is underway and we expect to go out to bid for the construction of the plant during the summer of 2017.
March 2015: We've reviewed the pilot test report and it was submitted to MassDEP for approval. Testing results were very favorable. All finished water manganese lab tests were below detection limits. An aeration process and permanganate system was added to the project as a result of the pilot testing.
December 2015: Pilot testing was completed and the results look very favorable. We expect the report by mid-January. Work has started in obtaining one or more easements needed for the installation of the raw water transmission main. The easements are needed to reduce or eliminate the amount of pipe installed on Route 1.
- Last Updated: 29 October 2013
- Hits: 3608
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.