State Board of Health Makes Recommendations to Chicopee, Mass.
The Massachusetts Board of Health has recently investigated the sources of Chicopee’s water supply and makes strong recommendations for its improvement, in the report recently submitted to the city’s water commissioners, which is in part as follows:
To the Board of Water Commissioners, Chicopee, Mass.
Gentlemen: The State Department of Health has caused the various sources of water supply in the city of Chicopee to be examined by one of its engineers, and samples of the waters of the various sources to be analyzed, and has considered the results of these tests in connection with other information relating to the conditions affecting the present water supply of the city. This water supply is now taken chiefly front Cooley Brook, supplemented with Morton Brook, tributaries of the Chicopee River, in the northeastern part of Chicopee, the water being taken from two small reservoirs constructed on these streams at a point about one-half mile north of the Chicopee River. The water sheds are practically uninhabited, and large areas of land have been acquired about them for the protection of the water supply. It is also understood that the water sheds are further protected by inspection to prevent danger of pollution of these streams by visitors. The water of Morton Brook, in its natural state, is of good quality for all domestic uses, and that of Cooley Brook is similar, except that it is affected at times of high flow by a noticeable color, caused by the contact of the water with vegetable matter in swampy areas on the water shed. The color, which is now excessive, could be reduced by the storage of the water for a sufficient length of time in a suitable reservoir. The water supply of the village of Fairview is obtained from tubular wells located in low ground in the neighborhood of that village, this supply having been introduced in the year 1910. This water was formerly soft and of fairly good quality for domestic use, but with the increase in the quantity of water drawn from the wells there has been an increase in the quantity of iron and deterioration in the quality of the water in other respects, and since the addition of new wells south of the pumping station the quantity of iron has become so great as to make the water objectionable for many domestic uses. When this source of supply was introduced, this department advised that the quantity of iron was likely to increase sufficiently to make the water objectionable and that in case water were drawn from the foregoing district south of the pumping station, objectionable water inevitably would be obtained. Furthermore, the population in the region about the wells is increasing and the sanitary quality of the water is also deteriorating from this cause. With the quantity now used, it is obviously impracticable to obtain water of good quality from these sources for the supply of the village. A recent examination shows that the Abbe reservoir is still in use as a source of water supply for the city, notwithstanding the advice of this department, under date of February 5, 1918, that the use of water from this reservoir for domestic purposes should be discontinued. This reservoir, in the opinion of the department, is an unsafe source of water supply, and its continued use is likely to cause serious injury to the health of the consumers to whom this water is supplied. The department recommends that its further use be discontinued at once. As a result of these examinations, the department recommends that the city proceed at once with a thorough investigation to determine the best plan of developing an adequate water supply for all parts of the city, cither by increasing the yield of Morton and Cooley Brooks, or by taking water from some available source which will furnish a sufficient supply of good water for all requirements. The investigation should include the preparation of general plans of the necessary works, including all necessary pipe lines and reservoirs. This study should be made under the direction of an engineer of suitable experience in such investigations. The department will assist in the matter, if you so request, by making the necessary examinations of proposed sources of supply and will give you further advice as soon as the results of investigations herein recommended are available.
EUGENE R. KELLEY, Commissioner of Health.