Water Department News & Announcements
Fall Hydrant Flushing to Begin 8/16 and End 10/29
The City of Chicopee Water Department will be conducting their fall hydrant flushing program. Hydrant Flushing will occur between 8pm-12am Sunday through Thursday. The start date is Sunday August 16th, 2020. This program is in place to ensure customers continue to receive the highest quality water. Hydrant flushing will last until October 30, 2020, and is starting in West Fairview and is to be completed in Willimansett.
During this time, customers may notice episodes of decreased water pressure or discoloration of their water. Water discoloration results from temporary disturbances of the normal water flow within our piping network. These short-term changes in flow can stir up naturally occurring minerals and sediment that settle within the water mains. The objective of the water main/hydrant flushing program is to remove these accumulated sediments from our pipes by flushing the water out of the fire hydrants.
If you experience discolored water after your street has been flushed you are encouraged to run your cold water through a faucet (bathtubs being the best choice) for 5-10 minutes or until water clears up. Do not use hot water as the dirty water can enter your hot water heater and possibly damage it. Do not run your laundry machine when you have dirty water, as this can discolor your clothing.
If your water does not clear up after several minutes, please call the Chicopee Water Department during regular business hours at 413-594-3420.
March 17, 2020: No COVID-19 In Drinking Water/Limiting Personnel in Residential Homes.
The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Please see what the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has to say regarding drinking water and the COVID-19 virus here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html.
The City of Chicopee Water Department’s top priority is to deliver a continuous dependable supply of clean drinking water to the general population of Chicopee. Personnel are implementing these precautions to avoid becoming sick and spreading any disease:
- Water department offices are closed to the public but still operational. Please call the water department at (413-594-3420 ext. 6) as an alternative for visiting the building.
- Meter readers will not be entering any residential homes until further notice.
- Water department employees will only enter buildings for emergencies only.
As always, please report any possible leaks between the hours of 7am-5pm to (413-594-3420 ext. 6) after hours report leaks to 911.
Don’t forget to wash your hands.
February 24, 2020: PFAS Information For Chicopee Residents
You may have read recent news accounts about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (together abbreviated as PFAS). These are a class of human-made chemicals typically associated with manufacturing of non-stick coatings, and water proofing and stain proofing treatments. They have also been associated with certain fire-fighting foams.
PFAS are currently not a concern for MWRA (Massachusetts Water Resources Authority).The City of Chicopee’s drinking water is supplied from MWRA who operates Quabbin Reservoir. None of the compounds tested for were above the reporting limits, but using DEP’s proposed methods for summing the 6 PFAS that DEP is considering regulating, Chicopee Valley Aqueduct finished water saw a sum of 1 ppt (Part Per Trillion). Compare that with DEP’s proposed standard of 20 ppt.
MA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is working on a PFAS regulation, and recently had a public meeting where various stakeholders presented their positions. PFAS will likely continue to be in the news while DEP works on a final regulation.
MWRA has placed a consumer notice on their website: http://www.mwra.com/watertesting/pfas/about.html which may have helpful answers to any inquiries you may have regarding your local drinking water. Below are the test results performed for the Chicopee Valley Aqueduct system: http://www.mwra.com/watertesting/pfas/results/2019-08-PFAS.pdf
MWRA’s reservoirs, the Quabbin and Wachusett, are very well protected, and mostly surrounded by conservation land.
For more information on PFAS from DEP including fact sheets for consumers, please go to https://www.mass.gov/service-details/per-and-polyfluoroalkyl-substances-pfas-in-drinking-water.
November 1, 2019: Hydrant Flushing Complete
All night time hydrant flushing operations have ceased for the 2019 calendar year. The Water Department would like to thank the residents of Chicopee for their cooperation. The 2020 Hydrant Flushing Program will begin mid-spring (weather permitting).
October 3, 2019: Reporting Taste or Odor Issues
If you are having any issues with taste or odor in your drinking water, please contact the Chicopee Water Treatment Plant at: 413-594-1870 so we can report any issues to MWRA. For further information on MWRA, please follow the link here:
August 28, 2019: Metallic-Tasting Algae in Reservoir
Starting in early August, an algae bloom occurred in the Quabbin reservoir. While the presence of low levels of algae (naturally occurring microscopic plants) is a sign of a healthy reservoir, this particular bloom consists of Chrysosphaerella algae, which leaves a metallic taste to tap water. The bloom is being monitored by Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and MWRA three days per week. Staff are collecting samples in the reservoir, performing microscopic analyses, and identifying and counting the algae concentrations. MWRA is also communicating with each of the Chicopee Valley Aqueduct communities several times per week. In addition, water quality is monitored continuously with on-line analyzers immediately before and after treatment at the Brutsch Water Treatment Facility, as well as further downstream. While this algae bloom presents a nuisance taste and odor condition, the water remains safe to drink. In the meantime, chilling water in the refrigerator and/or adding lemon is the easiest way to improve the taste.
This Chrysosphaerella bloom occurred starting around Aug 6. Chrysosphaerella is a golden brown algae of the Chrysophyte family. Blooms of nuisance algae are very rare in Quabbin Reservoir; the last bloom causing taste complaints occurred in 1996 from another golden brown chrysophyte, Synura. It is expected that this bloom will decline soon as nutrient levels in Quabbin are naturally low, and unlikely to support such a bloom for a long period.
More information about Quabbin Reservoir and water quality is available at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s website.