Water Supply Update - November

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Water Supply Update
Serving the Communities of Hingham, Hull, & North Cohasset

The precipitation recorded at the Water Treatment Plant in Hingham during the month of November was 2.18 inches, which is 2.47 inches below average for the month of November. To date, we are 7.75 inches below average for the year. Groundwater and surface water levels remain seasonally low. As of the last day of November 2016, Accord Pond was only at 45% capacity, which is approximately 30% below average for this time of year (Note, the percent full last month was 42%).

In a recent press release from the State it was reported that although many areas of the State experienced some precipitation in November, large portions of the State continue to experience a water deficit. As a result, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton declared the following drought levels throughout the Commonwealth: a Drought Warning for the Connecticut River Valley, Western, Central, Northeast, and Southeast Massachusetts, unchanged from the month of November; and a Drought Advisory for the Cape and Islands, unchanged from the month of November. The declaration was the result of a recommendation issued from a recent meeting of the Drought Management Task Force, comprised of state, federal and local officials, and will remain in effect until water levels return to normal in the affected regions.

"It is incredibly important that as the Commonwealth transitions from fall to the winter months that we all focus on indoor water conservation methods, now that the outdoor watering season has come to an end," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. "The Baker-Polito Administration urges the public to reduce indoor water usage, fix any indoor leaks, and conduct water audits."

"While the state has received beneficial rainfall over the last few weeks, totals for the month of November were below normal and serious drought conditions remain across the state," said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Director Kurt Schwartz. "The public is urged to continue conserving water in order to reduce the overall demand on our water sources."

Water Supply

The average daily withdrawal from our water supply sources for the month of November was 2.27 million gallons per day (MGD), which is below the 5-year average of 2.58 MGD. Based on the communities’ favorable response to water restrictions and our success in reducing leakage, the demand for water has declined in Hingham, Hull, and north Cohasset. Usage this past November 2016 was the lowest in the past 6 years and 12% lower than past Novembers. As a result cumulative usage through November is the second lowest in the past 6 years (see figure below). The successful reduction in water withdrawals is great for the environment and ensures that there is adequate water supply to meet the needs of the communities we serve. We want to thank our customers for their cooperation with the outdoor water use restrictions this past summer.




Customer Service/Community Outreach

This past month, we conducted several tours of the treatment plant for all fifth graders at South Elementary School in Hingham. These tours were part of the "Water all around you" program, a water education program run by the North and South Rivers Watershed Association and sponsored by Aquarion Water Company for over 10 years. Students learned the importance of caring for local water resources, they learned about water quality and water conservation among other topics. Every student took home an Aquarion certificate of appreciation for participating in the program. Tours were also conducted for the environmental science program at Notre Dame Academy. Juniors and Seniors from NDA took an extensive tour of the plant seeing the filtration process in action. Once again, Aquarion was delighted to sponsor and provide water to the Annual Hingham Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.

News and Notes

Aquarion Water Company conducted several fire hydrant flow tests in November. These tests will help us to calibrate the company’s computer model of the water distribution system, which will allow us to better evaluate our system, determine estimated available flows for fire protection, and help us identify areas for future infrastructure and capital improvement.