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Upton Officials Discuss Need for Third Water Source

The Upton Board of Selectmen brought in associates from the engineering firm of Tata and Howard in an effort to educate residents on the necessity and costs associated with a new, third water source in town. The presentation took place on the evening of April 10 at Blackstone Valley Tech. Tata and Howard is a consulting firm specializing in water and wastewater.

Town officials have stated for some time how critical the construction of a third municipal wellfield in town is. In 1998, a study was completed by Tata and Howard which determined that a new water source would be necessary in the near future.

Currently, Upton residents receive water from the Glen Ave. wellfield and the West River well. As far back as 1991, town officials have voiced their concerns regarding the age of both water sources noting leaks and corroded pipes. According to the presentation given on April 10, Upton's water supply does not meet the summer average daily demand if one well is off line. In addition, Upton does not meet the projected maximum day demand and projected average day demand.

Throughout the years, town officials have been making progress toward developing the third wellfield, including purchasing the land for the site, a test well exploration, a pump test, and designs. The new water source is to be constructed on West River St. with a total cost estimated at $3.4 million. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has given the town the green light for the project.

Town officials say they want to proceed with the new wellfield now given that permits for the project expire in 2014 and bond rates are currently low.

According to Town Manager Blythe Robinson, bids for the project's construction phase are underway. Funding will be paid 50 percent by users and 50 percent by the general tax base. As a result, the Board of Selectmen plans to bring a debt exclusion before voters.

The first vote will for the debt exclusion will take place during the May 10 Annual Town Meeting. The ballot vote is tentatively scheduled for June 12. If the initiative is approved by voters, Robinson estimates that the construction contract will be signed on July 1 and the project will be completed in September 2013.

The presentation given on April 10 can be viewed on the home page of the town's Web site at www.upton.ma.us. Anyone with questions should contact Town Manager Blythe Robinson at 508-529-6901 or email brobinson.selectmen@upton.ma.us.




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