Water Supply Update - September

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

Water Resource Management

At Aquarion, we are committed to excellence in water resource management. This entails making responsible and proactive choices about the operation of our existing sources (our reservoir and eleven wells), and balancing our decisions with an understanding of our water system usage demands. Active management of our existing sources includes activities such as rehabilitating our wells to maintain their pumping capacity and continued investment in our source water delivery infrastrucuture (pumps and pipes). To help manage our demands we focus on reducing leakage (finding and fixing leaks) and water conservation through our Customer Water Conservation program. Our long term plans are focused on meeting future needs with the development of a new source of supply.

To learn more about some of our water resource managment initiatives and activities, please feel free to join us at our next Hingham Water Supply Committee meeting at the Hingham Town Hall on Monday, October 16th at 7:30 p.m.

 

Groundwater and surface water levels are normal for this time of year. As of the end of September 2017, Accord Pond was at 50% capacity. We are planning to take Accord Pond off-line in October to begin the recharge process.

 

Water Supply and Demand - Success in Managing Water Withdrawals 

The average amount of water pumped from our sources to meet demands in September 2017 was 3.84 million gallons per day (MGD), which is above the 6-year average for September. Despite the higher than average withdrawals in September 2017, our cumulative water withdrawals for the year are the 2nd lowest recorded in the past 7 years. Cumulative annual water withdrawals for the past 5 years are shown in the figure below.

The relatively low withdrawal volume this year is attributable to our water management efforts, including finding and fixing leaks, and implementing water conservation initiatives like irrigation restrictions and a plumbing fixture replacement program.

Since 2014, we have identified and repaired more than 80 leaks which have helped us reduce lost water by 22%, as measured by "unaccounted-for-water" - an industry standard measurement of lost water.

We would like to thank all of our customers in Hingham, Hull, and Cohasset for adhering to the annual irrigation restrictions this past year which are in effect from April 15th through October 15th. Your efforts help preserve the water supply for the benefit our residents and the environment.

 

Water Quality - Delivering Safe, High Quality Water Is Our Priority

Delivering safe and reliable drinking water to residents and businesses is Aquarion’s highest priority. As part of this commitment, we have been “flushing” water mains throughout our distribution system to reduce the risk of our customers receiving discolored water.

Discolored water is most typically caused by naturally occurring minerals (primarily iron and manganese) that are in the water. Trace levels of these minerals, which are heavier than water, can settle in our water mains when water customer usage is low – especially during winter months. Then, when flow through the water mains increases (for example, due to spring/summer water demands, fire hydrant use, or a water main break) it can stir up these accumulated minerals, which can then flow into your household plumbing and out of your faucets when you turn them on for use.

The best way to minimize the potential for flow disturbances to stir up accumulated sediments in our mains is to periodically use controlled hydrant flushing to remove these sediments from our mains. This is done by opening fire hydrants to intentionally create a controlled flow disruption, and then keeping the hydrants open and flowing to discharge the discolored water and sediments from the hydrants.

This past spring and summer we performed “flushing” on water mains in south and central Hingham. Starting in mid-October, we will continue the flushing program in north Hingham, Hull, and north Cohasset. Hydrants will be flushed in the evenings from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., Sunday through Thursday. To find out specific details about our nightly flushing schedule please check out our website alerts at type in Hingham, or try the following link: www.aquarionwater.com/alerts.cfm?city=Hingham,MA.

 

Customer Service/Community Outreach - Supporting and Enhancing the Communities Where We Live, Work, and Operate

Aquarion has had a long standing relationship with the public schools in the towns we serve. For over a decade, Aquarion has partnered with the North and South River Watersheds Association (NSRWA) and sponsored their “Water All Around You” program for all fifth graders in the Hingham and Hull elementary schools. Launched every fall, this program spans throughout the year and teaches students about their local water resources, the importance of these resources, how individuals can have an impact on the environment and water conservation. Also, for the fourth year in a row, Aquarion is sponsoring the Garden Education Program run by Holly Hill Farm. Aquarion’s donation funds a teaching program on sustainable gardening which reaches approximately 400 second graders in all Hingham public schools and at Jacobs Elementary school in Hull.

We are thrilled to have these partnerships with NSRWA and Holly Hill Farm for innovative special programs enriching the quality of public education in Hingham and Hull. Thank you to Janice McPhillips, Jon Belber, Cindy Prentice, Samantha Woods, Lori Wolfe, and Don Salvatore for your good work.

We look forward to the many school and community events coming up in the Fall, including the following school events where we will be providing water: Hingham Middle School Bon Fire, East Elementary Halloween Party, Plymouth River Boo Bash, South Elementary Halloween Party, and Foster Elementary School Fun Run.

 

Operational News and Notes 

To find out more details and see if you are eligible for our water conservation program please visit our website at: www.aquarionwater.com/conservationoffers.

If you know of any organizations that are seeking sponsorship, or are in need of a water donation, please have them contact Ronit Goldstein at rgoldstein@aquarionwater.com or at 781-740-6693.