2009-11-05 / News

Water dept. named ‘Utility of the Year’

The Jamestown Water Department has been named a 2009 Utility of the Year by the New England Water Works Association, a Holliston, Mass.-based, not-for-profit organization of water works professionals.

“This is one of the oldest professional societies in the country,” said Jamestown Public Works Director Steve Goslee. “It’s a very big honor for the town.”

The Jamestown Water Department was recognized in the smallsize systems category, which includes utilities that serve less than 5,000 service connections. The department serves about 1,300 residential, industrial and commercial customers.

The award, presented to Goslee during the organization’s recent annual conference, recognizes a utility for “making significant improvements to its water system and for providing outstanding customer service, staff training and operations to further protect the public health of the consumers it serves,” according to Raymond J. Raposa, executive director of NEWWA.

The department’s water commissioners include Town Council members Julio DiGiando, Bob Sutton, Mike White, Bill Kelly and Barbara Szepatowski.

For the past several years, the department has implemented an extensive program to renovate and update its water supply, treatment and distribution systems. These improvements included an advanced aeration system and a depth-selective withdrawal system for the reservoir, an additional standpipe, replacement of substandard distribution piping, a leak-detection program, a radio-read meter system, an enhanced customer support system, a portable interconnect line for the Jamestown bridge crossing and a 5 million gallon per day ultra-filtration plant.

Jamestown’s new $3.8 million facility, constructed next to the old water treatment plant on North Main Road, began operation in May of this year. It has the ability to produce 500,000 gallons of clean water daily, according to Goslee, who spoke with the Press about the new facility back in May. The old water treatment plant could only make 350,000 gallons of water per day, he added.

Not only does the new system produce more water, it is also less expensive to operate because a lot less water is needed to back flush. During peak use, the old water treatment system needed about 20,000 gallons of water per day to flush the sand filtration system. The new system needs only 5,000 to 6,000 gallons of water per week for the flushing operation.

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