Category Archives: Water & Sewer

MSH water tower wins award

ACCE award for MSH water tower

Photo shows DPW Director Maurice Goulet, second from left, and town’s consultants.

This email yesterday evening from Water and Sewer Board member Jeremy Marsette –


Passing along this good news.  The Town and its consultant, Environmental Partners Group, won an award this evening from the American Council of Engineering Companies for the replacement of the water storage tank at the former Medfield State Hospital.


The award was presented at their annual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala.  The award notes “Reaching new heights modernizing water infrastructure on an historic site”.


Congratulations to EPG and the Medfield Public Works Department.


Btw, Medfield’s roads have looked great these past two snow storms.  Kudos to the Department for that too.







Watering restrictions enacted




The Town of Medfield has received notice from the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection to increase the level of outdoor watering restrictions due to decreasing stream flow from the Charles River.

Therefore, the Town of Medfield is declaring a mandatory odd/even outdoor watering program.  Also, no outside watering should take place between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.  If you have further questions, please contact the Medfield Water Dept. at 508-906-3004.


Kristine Trierweiler

Assistant Town Administrator

EPA Agrees to Our Request to Postpone MA MS4 General Permit

The application of the Federal M4S stormwater regulations to Medfield are being postponed a year, per the email below that Mike sent along today.  Medfield joined with Franklin and other towns to seek this redress.


Great News! EPA agrees to our request to postpone the
MA MS4 General Permit.
View this email in your browser
About the Coalition

The Massachusetts Coalition for Water Resources Stewardship (MCWRS) is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting watershed-based policies and regulations that effectively manage and conserve water resources.

MCWRS is unique in its focus on protecting municipalities’ interests in an ever changing regulatory environment. We promote using scientifically based and fiscally responsible approaches to realize environmental and community goals.

Members include municipalities; public agencies that transport and treat drinking water, wastewater and stormwater; quasi-government agencies; and private organizations whose members are committed to the principles of stewardship and sustainability in protecting the environment and public health. Invite your colleagues to visit the Coalition website for membership information.


Dear Michael,
We have exciting news to share. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has agreed to our request to postpone the implementation of the Massachusetts Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) General Permit. The request, jointly filed with the Town of Franklin and City of Lowell, delays the permit implementation that was scheduled for July 1, 2017, by one year to July 1, 2018. It also postpones the September 28, 2017 due date for communities’ Notices of Intent. Feel free to download and share our press release on this important announcement. You may also review EPA’s announcement of the postponement.

When EPA issued the final MS4 General Permit in April 2016, MCWRS and Franklin jointly filed an appeal of the permit in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. The City of Lowell, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and the Conservation Law Foundation also filed appeals in Boston. These appeals were transferred to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and consolidated with an appeal first filed in the D.C. Circuit by the Center for Regulatory Reasonableness. The consolidated appeals will be heard in the D.C. Court.

The appeals continue to move forward, but the postponement will provide communities with immediate relief from the cost of complying with the permit until the matter is resolved. Philip Guerin, President of MCWRS, stated, “The postponement is very important to our member communities and municipalities across Massachusetts. It will give them a break from excessive spending on stormwater management until the Court rules on some highly contentious permit language. During the postponement, most cities and towns will continue to implement reasonable and effective practices to improve stormwater quality and decrease stormwater quantity, just as they have been doing for many years.”

The MS4 permit regulates municipal stormwater discharges under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. At issue in the appeal is the standard EPA seeks to apply to discharges from municipal storm sewers, which collect rainfall from streets, buildings, and developed areas. MCWRS, Franklin, and numerous municipalities supporting the appeal contend that certain permit conditions exceed EPA’s authority under the CWA. They go far beyond what Congress ever intended EPA might do to regulate municipal stormwater discharges. The MS4 permit applies to over 260 Massachusetts communities. The costs for communities to meet these new water quality standards vary widely, with independent estimates ranging from $260,000 to $750,000 annually for some medium-sized municipalities.

The draft MA MS4 General Permit generated over 1,300 individual comments by more than 150 entities, many of them municipalities impacted by the permit. EPA made some revisions in the final permit, but did not adequately address key issues raised by many municipal interests. The only process to address contentious matters contained in a final NPDES permit is through the courts. The use of the courts to challenge EPA actions is a step frequently employed by environmental advocacy groups in Massachusetts and across the country. This action by MCWRS, the Town of Franklin, and City of Lowell is very much in keeping with that practice.

We thank our contributors and contributing members for their support of the Coalition’s appeal of the MA MS4 General Permit.

Copyright © 2017 Massachusetts Coalition for Water Resources Stewardship, All rights reserved.


With the heavy rains, the Waste Water Treatment Plant had some issues.  Both EPA and DEP have signed off on the temporary corrective measures.

town seal



“Department of Public Works



Director of Public Works

55 North Meadows Road

Medfield, MA 02052


Fax (508) 359-4050


TO:            Board of Selectmen

Michael Sullivan, Town Administrator

Kristine Trierweiler, Assistant Town Administrator

Water and Sewer Board


FROM:    Maurice G. Goulet. Director of Public Works





DATE:            April 4, 2017

SUBJECT:      WWTP Issue

We experienced an influx of water at the Wastewater Treatment Plant due to excessive rains. This influx of water forced us to bypass partial treatment areas at the plant. The UV Control System at the end of the treatment areas is in need of repair. A temporary chlorine tank and feed has been set up at the final stage of treatment for disinfection. This chlorine tank is necessary for the interim until the UV Control System can be repaired and put back on-line. New controls and repair parts have been ordered and will be installed as soon as possible. When the UV Control System is running properly, the chlorine tank and feed will be removed.

W&S rates 30% below MWRA


Medfield is fortunate to have Jeremy Marsette on its Water and Sewer Board, since in his day job Jeremy runs the Natick DPW.  Jeremy sent along the following information that compares water and sewer rates from around greater Boston –

Hello all,

The annual survey of Water and Sewer Retail Rates performed by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Advisory Board was just published.  They included Medfield as one of the communities surveyed.  Attached are several pages of note from the survey.


Based on an AWWA standard for historical usage of 120 HCF of annual water consumption the average combined water and sewer bill for all MWRA serviced communities was found to be $1,524.84 for the calendar year 2016.  For comparison, a bill from Medfield for the same usage was found to be $1,073.48.  This represents that Medfield’s rate structure for combined water and sewer usage is 30% less than the average of all 60 MWRA serviced communities.


The major difference in costs is on the sewer side of the bill.  The MWWTP is the key contribution in making Medfield’s sewer costs much lower than the costs seen by MWRA communities.


On average MWRA communities increased water/sewer rates by 3.4% from 2015 to 2016.  Medfield increased rates by 2.4%, based on the survey’s calculations.


I have copies of the full rate survey, and it is also available on the MWRA Advisory Board’s website at . Please feel free to forward this information.


Thank you,





Jeremy Marsette, PE

Director of Public Works

Town of Natick


Downgrade to drought advisory

water ban-2

This from Mike Sullivan this afternoon –

Date: Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 3:50 PM
Subject: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Historic Drought Conditions Continue for Commonwealth, Cape and Islands Downgraded to Drought Advisory
To: Michael Sullivan <>

For your situational awareness, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is sharing this press release from the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs about the continuing drought in the Commonwealth and the updated Drought Warnings and Advisory that have been issued for regions of the state.  Despite the above-average precipitation in October for four of the state’s six regions, the drought conditions are not easing.


Kurt Schwartz
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
400 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA  01702
508-820-2010 (Office)
508-820-2000 (24/7 Communications Center)
617-590-3360 (Cell)


Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Governor Charles D. Baker
Lt. Governor Karyn E. Polito
Secretary Matthew A. Beaton

Press Release Contact: Katie Gronendyke – 617-626-1129 or<>

Historic Drought Conditions Continue for Commonwealth, Cape and Islands Downgraded to Drought Advisory
Monitoring of Water Resources to Continue, Water Conservation by Public Necessary

BOSTON – November 9, 2016 – While portions of Massachusetts have experienced measurable amounts of rainfall in the past month, large portions of the state continue to experience rainfall amounts remaining below average. As a result, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton today declared the following drought levels throughout the Commonwealth: a Drought Warning for the Connecticut River Valley, Western, Central, Northeast, and Southeast Massachusetts, unchanged for the Connecticut River Valley, Central, Northeast and Southeast Regions, and up from a Drought Watch for the Western Region in October; and a Drought Advisory for the Cape and Islands, down from a Drought Watch in October. 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.

“While many communities throughout the Commonwealth have received rain during the month of October, it is important to remember that over 80% of the state continues to experience historic drought conditions, and several months of significant precipitation are needed for water sources to truly rebound,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration asks that residents and communities continue to remain diligent in their efforts to conserve water in order to ensure our reservoirs, groundwater, and stream flow systems return to a more sustainable water level.”

“While we are grateful that four of the state’s six regions received above-average precipitation in October, and that the public has taken conservation requests and restrictions seriously and has significantly reduced water consumption, drought conditions continue throughout the state and the need to conserve water remains a priority,” said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Director Kurt Schwartz.

A Drought Warning, as outlined in the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan<>, indicates consecutive months of groundwater, stream flow, and reservoir levels being below normal, and initiates a much more concerted set of government responses including instating water restrictions, and more intensified monitoring and coordination between the agencies. Areas within the Drought Warning are currently experiencing precipitation levels below normal for six out of seven consecutive months. The declaration of a Drought Advisory indicates a level of dry conditions that warrants closer tracking by government agencies.

[drought_status_map2016-October conditions]

While certain sub-regions within Central Massachusetts are experiencing much more severe impacts, and areas within the Cape and Islands region are experiencing almost normal conditions, the state continues to intensely monitor and assess the drought situation, and any associated environmental and agricultural impacts. Furthermore, the state asks the public to be mindful of the amount of water they are using, and to eliminate or greatly reduce outdoor water use to ensure essential needs such as drinking water, fire protection, and crop hydration are being met.

For Regions in Drought Warning:

*         Outdoor water use should be eliminated.

For Regions in Drought Advisory:

*         Outdoor watering with irrigation systems and sprinklers should be limited to no more than one day per week; and

*         Watering with a handheld hose should be limited to after 5pm or before 9am (to avoid evaporative losses).

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP) permits exempt certain water uses from mandatory restrictions, including: for health or safety reasons; the production of food and fiber; the maintenance of livestock; and to meet the core functions of a business. MassDEP continues to provide technical assistance to communities on managing systems, including assistance on use of emergency connections and water supplies, as well as assisting towns on how to request a declaration of drought emergency.

“The month of October has experienced generally good rainfall amounts, but we are still in a significant drought that will take time to get back to normal,” said Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “People should continue to use water wisely, and in particular, as the outdoor water-use season ends, people should look to efforts within the home to conserve water. Fixing leaky faucets, toilets and showerheads is a great way to conserve water and save money.”

To aid farmers and other small businesses, the Baker-Polito Administration launched the Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund<>, and continues to work closely with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Farm Service Agency. As a result of USDA primary agricultural disaster designations<> due to losses caused by drought, all Massachusetts counties are now eligible for federal emergency loans through the Farm Service Agency to help recover from crop losses. Additionally, all Massachusetts counties are eligible for federal emergency loans as a result of a USDA primary agricultural disaster designation<> due to crop losses of tree fruits like peaches that were caused by frost and freeze occurring between February and May.

“Despite having received some much needed rainfall and the fall harvest winding down, the ongoing drought conditions continue to adversely affect farmers across Massachusetts,” said Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux. “We are committed to working with farmers not only through this difficult time, but also to helping farmers adapt their operations in anticipation of future droughts and environmental challenges. We encourage residents to buy local and continue to support our hard-working farmers.”

Task Force officials noted that while reservoir levels, especially smaller systems, are low for this time of year, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) water supply system is not currently experiencing drought conditions, as defined within its individual plan.

“The Quabbin Reservoir is still within normal levels,” said MWRA Executive Director Fred Laskey. “Although we still have a long way to go before we get to a drought stage, we continue to encourage residents and businesses within our service area to conserve water in their daily routines.”

The declaration of a Drought Warning and Drought Advisory requires the Drought Management Task Force to meet on a regular basis to more closely assess conditions across the state, coordinate dissemination of information to the public, and help state, federal and local agencies prepare any responses that may be needed in the future. The Task Force will next meet in December. For further information on water conservation and what you can do, visit the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ drought page<>, the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s drought management page<>, and the MassDEP Water Conservation page<>.

Postcard update

water ban-2

Email from Mike today –

Hadn’t heard from postmaster since yesterday so I called him and he told me that the postcards are coming in in small batches, which he assumes means that they went to New Jersey. He said that they will go back to Brockton and Brockton will forward them to Medfield. As of this morning, he said that he had received about 200 postcards and was sending them out as soon as they were received. Could take several days. He thinks that the small batches means that a machine sorting the postcards somehow got them separated. I don’t know if that means some were destroyed and won’t be delivered.  The state was supposed to meet yesterday to consider upping the water ban to a higher level but no word yet on that. Pumping is down so that most people are trying to reduce consumption. People are calling in to report violators, so that should help. That’s it for now. Have a good weekend and keep cool. Mike S