NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – A decision on whether improvements to a proposed water treatment facility on Carr Street will need an environmental impact report will be decided by the state Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (OEEA) on Aug. 24.
William Gage, an environmental analyst for the state, met Thursday with representatives of the town and the Whitinsville Water Company to determine if there are environmental concerns, and to tour the site.
The OEEA will accept citizen comments on the plan regarding its impact on the environment until Aug. 14.
Randy Swigor, WWC’s general manager, said the total cost, including equipment, is $1.5 million. Jack O’Connell, an engineer with Tata and Howard, said the facility, designed to remove iron and magnesium from the water, would have the ability to treat 1.44 million gallons per day.
Residents have complained about discoloration in the water, which stains clothing. The discoloration is caused by the high level of iron and magnesium in the water, O’Connell said.
Of the 86 shallow wells making up the well field abutting Meadow Pond, only one would be lost in the project, O’Connell said. The 2,000-square-foot facility would be a prefabricated building placed on a cement slab. Part of the facility will be on the 100-year flood plain.
WCC, which supplies water to Northbridge and Sutton, also has wells in Sutton.
Swigor said the project would have little effect on water services during construction. The system would go off line for a short time in early winter, when demand is less, and Sutton wells would be used during the changeover.
The Northbridge wells draw from groundwater that is replenished by Meadow Pond, Swigor said. All the wells are tied together and the water is “pumped out of the ground like a big straw,’’ he said.
All the needed treatment equipment has been ordered and WCC has received permitting from the Zoning Board of Appeals and Conservation Commission.
The plan is to have the project done just after the first of the year.