- Last Updated: 06 October 2015
- Hits: 108
The Topsfield Water Department has implemented a Voluntary Outdoor Water Use Restriction effective October 1, 2015 due to low Ipswich River stream flow.
All town residents and businesses are asked to curtail nonessential outdoor water use between 9 A.M. and 5 P.M. each day. 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 voluntary restriction will be in place until the river drops below the mandatory trigger for three days which is expected to happen within the next few days.
- Last Updated: 18 November 2015
- Hits: 159
Hydrant flushing is scheduled to begin on October 12, 2015. We plan to follow the normal route which is posted online 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.
November 18th Update: This round of flushing was completed on 11/17. The next round of flushing will begin in April 2016.
- Last Updated: 25 June 2015
- Hits: 502
The Board of Water Commissioners have set the FY2016 water rates. The new rate schedule is available online and includes an 18% increase in the water rate.
Two sources of information are used to determine the water rates. The first is the Water Department's FY2016 budget that was approved by Town Meeting in May 2015. The second part is how much water we expect to sell in the coming year. The sales forecast is a conservative estimate because any revenue shortfalls must be covered by tax revenue. We look at recent production data and develop an estimate of the minimum amount of water that will be consumed during the fiscal year and adjust the rates to generate the revenue needed to fund the budget.
This year's rate increase is largely driven by the increase in the Water Department's reserve fund. This part of the budget was increased in preparation for capital projects and associated long-term bond payments. Rather than having variable and sometimes extremely large rate increases as the projects progress, the Water Commissioners have elected to have smaller, regular rate increases to smooth out the effects of the projects and make the increases more predictable. It is anticipated that water rates will increase by 20% each year over the next several years.
- Last Updated: 05 November 2015
- Hits: 5721
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: 08 October 2015
- Hits: 1486
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 2016.
September 2015: The pilot test proposal was submitted to MassDEP and they have 60 days to review it. Hydraulic modelling work begins to determine if any distribution system modifications are needed due to relocating the fresh water feeds from the pump stations to the Public Works Building.
Hydraulic modelling is complete and the relocation of the fresh water feeds from the pumpstations to the Public Works Building will require the installation of an altitude valve on the nearby storage tank to prevent uneven tank filling. Due to the high elevation of the proposed plant, it will need an internal booster pump to provide pressurized water for process and domestic purposes. The Public Works Building has a similare pump system.
October 2015: We received comments from DEP concerning the pilot testing proposal and are working on finalizing the plan. Pilot testing is scheduled for later this month. Work on transmission main routing and design continues.
September 2015: Pilot testing proposal was sent to DEP for review. Hydraulic modeling was completed to examine potential changes needed in the distribution system required by changing the location of water addition. The Boston Street tank will need an altitude valve to prevent uneven tank filling due to the plant's close proximity to the tank
August 2015: Contract with Wright-Pierce was finalized and work began on drafting the pilot test proposal for MassDEP.
- Last Updated: 20 November 2013
- Hits: 7421
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: 3165
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.