By Christopher Roberson
During the Dec. 10 special meeting of the Lynnfield Center Water District (LCWD), ratepayers voted to pass Article 5 to appropriate $250,000 for a study that will look at the feasibility of drawing water from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) or from “another source.”
“We have a quality problem and a quantity problem; we definitely need this study because we’re going to run out of water,” said ratepayer Stephanie Rauseo, who sponsored the article, adding that she expects the study to be completed by April 8, 2019. “This is enough time for them to give us an answer.”
Angela Moulton, an environmental engineer at CDM Smith, said the results of the study would also provide a new rate schedule. Regarding the demand level, she said recent population studies have shown that the district is built out. Therefore, there is little chance that the LCWD wells would run dry.
However, another ratepayer said she was told by an LCWD water commissioner that the district would be out of water by 2030. “I’m just making a statement of fact,” she said.
Article 2, which asked for approval to construct a $5.2 million greensand filter at the Glen Drive Pumping Station, was indefinitely postponed pending further study.
Article 4, presented by ratepayer Robert Almy, called for $200,000 to study the exact requirements for removing iron and manganese from the Glen Drive Well Field. “I strongly support that the district needs to do something,” he said.
Ratepayer Kenneth MacNulty suggested that the article be amended so that the $200,000 would also be used to purchase industrial grade filtration systems for the 40 homes being affected by discolored water. However, MacNulty’s proposed amendment was narrowly defeated by a ballot vote of 94-86.
Another ratepayer said the money should be used for the exclusive purpose of purchasing filtration systems. “Take that 200 grand and put it into the people’s homes, the heck with the study,” he said.
Paul Martindale, chairman of the Conservation Commission, was opposed to spending $200,000 to fund a second study. “The first study may find a solution somewhere else,” he said.
Article 4 was subsequently voted down.
Ratepayer John Scenna wanted to know what could be done in the interim. “These studies take time,” he said. “What are you going to do for these homes with dirty water?”
Constance Leccese, chairwoman of the LCWD Water Commission, said she feels the meeting was productive. “I’m grateful for the thoughtful approach that our district members took in approaching the questions before them,” she said.