2008-08-21 / News

Town water rules amended

By Sam Bari

The Town Council held a public hearing at Monday's meeting regarding amendments to the general rules and regulations of the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners.

After discussing the rules governing water conservation during the summer months, the council proposed to change the dates for water restrictions in Section 15A. The proposed changes are as follows: No customer shall use water furnished by the municipal water system for lawn irrigation, house washing, boat washing, or residential car washing from June 30 through Oct. 1 of each year; nor at any time between Oct. 2 and June 29 "when the height of the North Reservoir is more than one foot below the top of the spillway." Notification of the water level will be published in the Press as indicated in a section of the ordinance.

Public works director's report

Public Works Director Steve Goslee reported that the wells are in service. JR-1 was out of service for three days due to a lightning strike, but the damage was minimal. The reservoir color dropped significantly. The trend is expected to continue if precipitation remains normal, Goslee said.

Goslee said that the treatment plant operated at 98-percent effi- ciency for turbidity removal.

He reported that the placement of reinforcing steel, electrical conduit and plumbing/mechanical piping for the floor slab in the treatment plant is complete. The pouring of the concrete floor was scheduled for Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, Goslee reported.

Goslee said that transfer pumping at the reservoir is ongoing from the South to the North Pond. Last month a total of 2.17 million gallons were transferred. He added that the transfer of 300,000 gallons a day was a significant increase.

Testing for the enhanced surface water treatment rule "LT2" will commence this September at North Pond. The town will be sampling for e-coli for a period of one year. Depending on those results, the town may need to initiate sampling for cryptosporidium and giardia cysts.

Open forum

Ellen Winsor spoke at the open forum and said she was formally announcing that on Aug. 1 Conanicut Island became a sole source aquifer. She said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given the designation, which provides the drinking water supply an extra level of protection.

Winsor said that she would be working closely with the conservation commission who supported the designation.

Councilman Robert Sutton said, "Sole-source aquifer, whatever that means to the town I'm not sure. But any issues concerning the island, whatever they may be, will go through the town council, not through a committee conferring with some citizens group."

Sutton said he did not know what Winsor meant when she said she would be working closely with the conservation commission, but he assured the council and those attending the meeting that anything concerning the EPA would be dealt with through the council and will not be decided by a citizen talking to a committee.

Councilman William Kelly said that the designation of sole source aquifer only applied to federally funded projects that are under consideration. "It does not apply to locally funded projects, and it does not have any jurisdiction over landfills," Kelly said.

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