2019 Public Water System Awards

An annual recognition of public water systems and certified operators

Table of Contents

Beyond Compliance Awards

The following 49 systems in the four different categories of NTNC, small community, consecutive, and medium/large community systems all have excellent compliance with state and federal drinking water regulations.  Not only do they have complete compliance with regulations for calendar year 2018 they have had no violations in the past 5 years. They have gone beyond compliance by testing for secondary contaminants and by having adequate capacity. This shows exemplary efforts to attain such an excellent record.


Nontransient Noncommunity

  • Assurance Technology Corp. - Carlisle (PWS ID # 3051011)
  • Cape Cod Air Force Station - Sagamore (PWS ID # 4036008)
  • Chester / Middlefield Elementary School (PWS ID # 1059012)
  • Heritage School - Charlton (PWS ID # 2054047)
  • The International - Bolton (PWS ID # 2034004)
  • Mendon Town Hall Campus (PWS ID # 2179027)
  • Montessori Center, Inc. - Auburn (PWS ID # 2017012)
  • The New Testament Church - Plymouth (PWS ID # 4239003)
  • Pinecroft School - Rehoboth (PWS ID # 4247004)
  • Post Office Place Realty Trust - Princeton (PWS ID # 2241015)
  • Rotondo Precast - Rehoboth (PWS ID # 4247052)
  • Wee Forest Folk - Carlisle (PWS ID # 3051019)


Small Community

  • Applewood Community Corporation - Boxborough (PWS ID # 2037013)
  • Barre MHP / Waterwheel Village (PWS ID # 2021001)
  • Town of Eastham (PWS ID # 4086095)
  • Horton Estates Condominium Trust, Inc. - Rehoboth (PWS ID # 4247055)
  • Pine Ridge Condominiums at Sampson's Pond - Carver (PWS ID # 4052074)
  • Northbrook Village I - Berlin (PWS ID # 2028007)
  • Northbrook Village II - Berlin (PWS ID # 2028018)
  • Sawyer Hill Ecovillage - Berlin (PWS ID # 2028017)
  • Shelburne Falls Fire District (PWS ID # 1268000)
  • Woodhaven Elderly Housing Committee - Sherborn (PWS ID # 3269002)



  • Boston Water and Sewer Commission (MWRA) (PWS ID # 3035000)
  • Brookline Water and Sewer Division (MWRA) (PWS ID # 3046000)
  • Elm Hill Water District - Auburn (PWS ID # 2017001)
  • Framingham Water Department (MWRA) (PWS ID # 3100000)
  • Mattapoisett River Valley Water District (PWS ID # 4173001)
  • Meadowbrook Water Trust - Dover (PWS ID # 3078005)
  • Swampscott Water Department (MWRA) (PWS ID # 3291000)
  • Watertown Water Department (MWRA) (PWS ID # 3314000)
  • Weston Water Department (PWS ID # 3333000)


Medium and Large Community

  • Brewster Water Department (PWS ID # 4041000)
  • Dedham Westwood Water District (PWS ID # 3073000)
  • Easton Water Division (PWS ID # 4088000)
  • Edgartown Water Department (PWS ID # 4089000)
  • Harwich Water Department (PWS ID # 4126000)
  • Hingham/Hull - Aquarion Water Company of (PWS ID # 4131000)
  • Lynn Water and Sewer Commission (PWS ID # 3163000)
  • Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (PWS ID # 6000000)
  • North Attleboro Water Department (PWS ID # 4211000)
  • North Chelmsford Water District (PWS ID # 3056002)
  • Orleans Water Department (PWS ID # 4224000)
  • Pinehills Water Company, Inc. - Plymouth (PWS ID # 4239055)
  • Provincetown Water Department (PWS ID # 4242000)
  • Randolph/Holbrook Water Board (PWS ID # 4244001)
  • Seekonk Water District (PWS ID # 4265000)
  • Southbridge Water Department (PWS ID # 2278000)
  • Wayland Water Department (PWS ID # 3315000)


Also in this Beyond Compliance category we must recognize the following system for their continued effort in having been an awards recipient for the past three years:

  • Reading Water Department (PWS ID # 3246000)

Nominated Categories

There are five operators and 12 systems nominated for the categories below.

Regional Recognition

  • WERO - Sunderland Water District (PWS ID # 1289000)
    Sunderland Water District faces many of the same challenges as other small water systems including compliance challenges.  The District has complied with the vast majority of SDWA and other Drinking Water Regulations for several years.  The District manages its water use and has significantly reduced its consumption during the last 2-3 years.
  • CERO - MCI Norfolk / Cedar Junction / Walpole (PWS ID # 2208001)
    MCI Norfolk/Cedar Junction/Walpole is being recognized for improvements made to the water quality (specifically the addition of iron and manganese treatment, increased amount of treated water available to the system), water quantity (2 new sources with elevated levels of iron and manganese going on-line in conjunction with the new treatment plant) and increased staffing (2 additional DOC operators where recently hired to oversee the PWS).  All of these improvements, and many other, have made the MCI Norfolk public water system solid and reliable

  • SERO  - Mashpee Water District (PWS ID # 4172039)
    The Mashpee Water District faced contamination by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds in a production well due to a plume from the nearby Joint Base Cape Cod.  The district immediately took the well out of service, negotiated an agreement with the U.S. Air Force, hired a consultant, applied for a MassDEP Drinking Water Construction Permit, and at this time the Air Force is constructing a granular activated carbon system to remove the contamination.  The district is voluntarily continuing to monitor wells that have shown low concentrations of PFAS compounds.  Additionally, a small non-municipal community public water system’s wells also were contaminated by the same source area.  The district finalized an agreement to allow that system to connect to the district’s distribution system.  According to MassDEP’s most recent sanitary survey report for the district, “The condition of the facilities and organization of the records reflect a high level of professionalism and pride taken by the district’s employees.”  For maintaining an excellent operation and responding professionally in critical situations, MassDEP’s Southeast Region selects the Mashpee Water District for its Regional Recognition Award
  • NERO - Melrose Water Department (PWS ID # 3178000)
    The Melrose Water Department submitted a letter dated January 30, 2018 regarding their lead service line removal program (LSL) as a result of exceeding the lead action level in 2017. Melrose stated that they had 819 lead service lines at the start of their removal program in February 2016. As of the 2018 letter, they were determined to have 574 LSLs remaining.  They proposed to remove 58 LSLs between November 1, 2017 through October 31, 2018. In a letter dated November 7, 2018, Melrose stated that they removed 72 full, 24 partial, and 32 goosenecks.  After two rounds of sampling in 2018, with both rounds below the 90th percentile, they will return to annual sampling in 2019.

Energy Conservation

  • Groton Water Department (PWS ID # 2115000)
    The Whitney Pond Wells Pump Station Optimization Project 
    –  By effectively utilizing a $83,295 Gap II Grant from MassDEP’s Clean Energy Results Program for Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities, the Groton Water Department implemented a comprehensive water pumping and energy management upgrade that optimized Whitney Pond Wells #1 and  #2.  This project has resulted in:  producing a 40% increase in pumping capacity to meet summer peak water demands during off-peak electricity usage with existing assets; improving water quality for customers; and allowing the town to postpone spending approximately $2-3 million for new well development for at least five years.  As a result of optimizing Whitney Wells’ pumping assets, the town of Groton is also saving over $8,000 / year from Groton Electric Company’s reduced electrical rate for its new electrical peak demand operations.

Water Conservation

  1. Met 65 RGPCD and 10% UAW standard based on their approved 2017 data (2018 values are not available yet);
  2. Did not win this award in the past three years;
  3. Implemented at a minimum mandatory water use restrictions in 2018;
  4. All winners have websites showing conservation related information.
  • Spencer Water Department (PWS ID # 2280000)
  • Sterling Water Department (PWS ID # 2282000)
  • Templeton Municipal Light and Water Plant (PWS ID # 2294000)
  • Wilmington Water Department (PWS ID # 3342000)

Source Protection

  • Fitchburg Water Department (PWS ID # 2097000)
    The Fitchburg Water Department, through land acquisitions, over the last year has secured six parcels of land for a total of over 173 acres for the purpose of source protection.


This award is given to systems who take action to reduce lead in school drinking water and do so with extremely encouraging results. Award given to both the PWS and the School District as they both diligently work in tandem to produce results.

  • Littleton Water Department (PWS ID # 2158000) and Littleton Public Schools
  • Medway Water Department (PWS ID # 2177000) and Medway Public Schools

Distinguished Operators

  • Robert Murch (Drinking Water Services, LLC)
    Bob Murch is an operator for Acton Water District who in the past two years has taken the role of contract operator for a number of small water systems in the Central Region.  Many of these systems have had significant water quality or compliance issues and Bob has worked tirelessly to bring them into full compliance, spending many nights and weekends installing emergency disinfection or troubleshooting treatment systems.  Two notable examples are: one public water system had triggered numerous RTCR assessments due to biofilm growth due to a poorly maintained treatment system, which Bob fully disassembled the treatment system and disinfected all components piece by piece; and the other system that Bob has spent a great deal of time diagnosing treatment issues and working with the manufacturer on solutions associated a sulfur removal system.  Bob prioritizes communication with MassDEP and maintains recordkeeping.  Bob’s clients speak very highly of him and appreciate all of his efforts.
  • Dan DiNicola, Chris MacKay, John Kellett, Mark Riopelle (Lawrence Water Works PWS ID # 3149000 / Woodard & Curran)
    These four operators are being recognized for their emergency response efforts during the natural gas explosions in Lawrence, MA.  On September 13, 2018, excessive pressure in natural gas lines caused a series of explosions and fires to occur in as many as 40 homes, with over 80 individual fires in the Massachusetts towns of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover.  Woodard & Curran operates the Lawrence Water Treatment Plant.  While the gas explosions did not cause the plant to lose power, it did cause our employees to lose communication with all the pump stations, as the electricity was knocked out at the radio repeater station at one of the water tanks.  The pump stations take water out of the distribution system and fill up storage tanks for high service areas.  Because Dan DiNicola, Plant Manager, and his staff had lost communications, they had no way to ascertain how much water was in the storage tanks.  However, they knew it was critical to get to the pump stations to check the water levels and manually operate the pumps if necessary.  At one time, as many as 18 fires were burning at once, and Andover officials had struck a maximum 10-alarm response.  The staff needed to make sure there was enough water and water pressure for the fire fighters to battle the blazes.  Complicating efforts was the fact that thousands of people were told to shut off their gas service and evacuate their homes.  The number of people evacuating by vehicle and foot soon caused gridlock on streets that were already experiencing congestion by the afternoon rush hour commute.  At the same time, Andover's fire chief described "billows of smoke coming from Lawrence behind me, I could see plumes of smoke in front of me within the town of Andover, it just looked like an absolute war zone."  Dan, Chris, Mark, and John remained calm and carefully made their way to the pump stations.  Because the streets were so congested, at times they needed to stop the car and walk/run to the stations.  When the tanks were running low, they needed to manually operate the pumps in order to ensure there was enough water available – including water for the fire fighters.  This situation lasted for close to 24 hours until a portable generator was brought to the radio repeater site.  Their efforts to keep the community of Lawrence safe are greatly appreciated.

Contact for 2019 Public Water System Awards

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