- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $1.7 Million to Support Eight Small Public Water Systems
Joseph Ferson, Public Affairs Office
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that it has awarded $1.7 million in grants to eight small public water systems to support infrastructure projects that will improve the quality of their drinking water. The funding, awarded through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP) Small and Disadvantaged Community Grant Program, will be utilized by water systems in the communities of Acton, Belchertown, Chester, Chilmark, Lanesborough, Monroe, Oxford, and West Brookfield.
“Our administration is deeply committed to ensuring residents in every Massachusetts community have access to clean drinking water,” said Governor Charlies Baker. “This new program builds on our support to small communities throughout the Commonwealth by helping them strengthen the infrastructure that underpins safe drinking water.”
“Supporting public water systems, including those in small and disadvantaged communities, yields environmental, health and economic benefits,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The grants will help these local water systems in their efforts to provide clean and safe water through improved infrastructure.”
MassDEP’s Small and Disadvantaged Community Grant Program is a new program that provides grants to assist public water systems in underserved, small and disadvantaged communities meet federal Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. Small and disadvantaged systems are defined as systems that serve less than 10,000 residents that are unable to afford the remedy for health-based water quality violations in drinking water. The program is funded through MassDEP and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act’s Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities Drinking Water Grant Program.
“We are pleased to see these funds put to good use, helping communities most in need,” said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Szaro. “These grants help communities increase the reliability of safe drinking water for their consumers, while maintaining compliance with Safe Drinking Water Act requirements.”
“Some smaller public water systems struggle to upgrade their infrastructure in a timely way and that can impact water quality and the health of the communities served,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “These grants will address water quality violations and help suppliers remain in compliance with state and federal drinking water regulations.”
“The goal of this new program is to provide funding to public water systems serving small and disadvantaged communities to address health-based water quality violations in drinking water,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “Besides the funding, MassDEP also stands ready to provide the technical assistance needed for these shovel-ready projects to be built and put into service.”
The following grants were awarded:
- Strawberry Hill Apartments (Acton) – $300,565: The funding will support interconnection with nearby public water system.
- Sports Haven Mobile Home Park (Belchertown) – $58,745: The funding will support the design and installation of interim chlorine disinfection.
- Chester Water Department (Chester) – $127,396: The funding will support installation of carbon layer in the system’s filter.
- Menemsha Water Company (Chilmark) – $527,942: The funding will support design and installation of a corrosion control system.
- Berkshire Village Cooperative (Lanesborough) – $246,046: The funding will support engineering and installation of services for distribution main extension and partial defrayment of betterment costs.
- Monroe Water District (Monroe) – $91,020: The funding will support he exploration of new-source well locations.
- Clara Barton Diabetes Center (Oxford) – $119,565: The funding will support storage tank telemetry and radon aeration.
- Madden Estates (West Brookfield) – $269,565: The funding will support treatment, storage tank, and distribution system upgrades.
“I am glad to see the release of this funding aimed at shoring up our local public water systems and creating sustainable infrastructure for the future,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer). “I want to thank the administration for prioritizing these targeted efforts to improve water quality and the lives of our residents and look forward to more projects like this in the future."
“Investment in our communities’ public water systems is critical for improving the current infrastructure and ensuring that our communities offer the best quality of life for current residents and the people moving to and joining our region,” said State Senator Adam G. Hinds (D-Pittsfield).
Turn here for more information on the EPA WIIN Grant Program.
MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.