Water Department News & Announcements
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Press Release: Nuisance Algae Detected In Quabbin Reservoir
Taken from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Website (link below): Starting on June 7th, MWRA staff observed an increase in algae activity in Quabbin Reservoir based on measurements from the water quality monitoring buoy (first deployed last year), which performs measurements of water quality throughout the depth of the reservoir 4 times per day. These measurements allow for an assessment of the algae concentrations, by measurement of chlorophyll a and other parameters. The bloom is being monitored by Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and MWRA staff. Staff are collecting samples in the reservoir, performing microscopic analyses, and identifying and counting the algae concentrations. 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 may impart a metallic taste to tap water. This is the same algae that was found in 2019 that caused metallic taste complaints across Chicopee Valley Aqueduct communities. In addition to the in-reservoir monitoring, 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. MWRA is communicating with each of the Chicopee Valley Aqueduct communities routinely.
While this algae bloom presents a nuisance taste and odor condition, the water remains safe to drink. Chilling water in the refrigerator and/or adding lemon is the easiest way to improve the taste.
More information about Quabbin Reservoir and water quality is available at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s website.
Fall Hydrant Flushing to Begin 8/16 and End 10/29
The 2019 MWRA Annual Water Report Published
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 QuabbinNone 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.
October 3, 2019: Reporting Taste or Odor Issues