From Bill Harvey, Chair of Water & Sewer –
Medfield Water and Sewerage
Rate Setting Public Hearing
28 May 2019
Rates for water and sewerage services are set once a year. The Board of Water and Sewerage, along with the DPW Director and the Water and Sewerage Enterprise Fund Committees have recommended the following increases:
Water +10% across all Tiers
Sewerage +4% across all Tiers
These rates will be effective April 1, 2019.
It has been in the Master Plan to address elevated levels of natural-occurring manganese in two of our five wells.
The US EPA has not published a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), which are health-based limits, for manganese. The USEPA and the MA DEP do have a Secondary MCL (SMCL) concentration limits of 0.05 mg/l, which is for:
Aesthetic effects — undesirable tastes or odors;
Cosmetic effects — effects which do not damage the body but are still undesirable
Technical effects — damage to water equipment or reduced effectiveness of treatment for other contaminants
In the last few years, a consultant has completed a study on a treatment plant and alternatives.
One of the alternatives was to investigate all Medfield land parcels for an aquifer source of sufficient quantity and quality to avoid a treatment plant. This investigation was conducted in 2017 and 2018. Unfortunately, no other significant water sources were found. Also in 2018, we conducted a treatment pilot which compared different treatment options and designs, and this information will be used for designing a full-scale plant.
The Town is proceeding with detailed design and development of procurement documents for the treatment plant, which will include a re-development of one of its wells to increase the instantaneous pumping capacity. This should relieve some of the pumping burden on our largest well, Well #6.
The capital investment for this project is currently estimated at $8 million. We expect this project to be brought to the Annual Town Meeting in May 2021, and construction to begin in July 2021.
The 10% rate increase for this fiscal period will be followed by another rate increase the following year, projected to be another 10% to pay for the bond and additional operating costs.
There are some increases in operating costs to operate our sewerage system. The primary driver for this year’s increase is the addition of another full-time employee, which was mandated as per a Consent Order with the DEP for Medfield to increase of staff at the wastewater treatment plant.