Officials break ground on $12.5 million water treatment plant in Wareham

By Meghan Neely | Jul 25, 2018
Photo by: Meghan Neely From left: Andrew Reid, State Rep. Susan Williams Gifford, Ron Enos, Jay Tamagini, Millie Garcia-Serrano, Ryan Bregman, Richard Doane and Lilla Dick break ground on Wareham's new water treatment plant.

Officials broke ground on a new $12.5 water treatment plant Wednesday, July 25, eight years after plans were initially approved by voters at the Wareham Fire District Annual Meeting.

"It's been a long road," said Wareham Water Department Superintendent Andrew Reid. "With this, we're one step closer to better water quality."

Construction on the plant at Maple Springs Road is now anticipated to begin almost immediately.

Originally, the Maple Springs Water Purification Plant had an estimated cost of $3.5 million and construction was slated to be finished in 2016. In 2010, Wareham Fire District voters approved spending $2.9 million to treat water naturally contaminated with manganese pumped from Maple Park Well No. 9.

After some study, water officials decided to expand the plant to treat water from additional district wells when iron and manganese levels in Wells No. 3 and 4 rose unexpectedly. Also, Well No. 2 was found to have a deficiency which allowed surface water into the well.

In 2014, district voters approved borrowing $1.8 million for the larger plans. The remaining funds would come from the Fire District’s budget.

With construction costs creeping up and the need for several important additions, the new plant had a price tag between $9.9 million and $18.9 million.

Funding was finally approved by voters back in April 2017 for $12.5 million to address high amounts of iron and manganese found in the town’s drinking water, the latter of which has been known to cause health issues.

Wareham currently has two water treatment plants on opposite ends of town which help to control corrosion by adding lime and chlorine to the water. The new treatment plant will act as a filter, helping to further remove harmful materials from the water while reducing the use of chemicals.

Ultimately a $12,243,213 construction bid from Methuen Construction Company was selected by the Water Department Prudential Committee back in June.

The project will likely take 18 months to complete according to Methuen Construction Project Superintendent Ryan Bregman.

"We're excited to get underway," Bregman said. "We're going to do everything we can to bring this project in safely, on time and under budget."

State Rep. Susan Williams Gifford (R-Wareham) applauded the project, stating that clean water is a key part of town's future.

"It's truly a huge project," Gifford said. "Water is our most important resource, and this plant means a lot for the residents of Wareham."

Prudential Committee member Ron Enos was also in agreement.

"This plant will bring us back to having some of the best water in the state," Enos said.

The Wareham Fire District, which provides fire and water service, is governed independently from the town. The Onset Fire District, a separate entity, provides those same services for Onset residents and is also independent from town government.

 

Wareham's existing water treatment plant on Maple Springs Road. (Photo by: Meghan Neely)
Comments (15)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 25, 2018 14:40

Good news!  I raise my glass of Wareham tap water to toast this event.  It tastes like pool water with rusty nuts and bolts.  Hopefully after $12.5 million, the water will taste good again.

 

One question, why did they design it with exotic foreign pipe to begin with?



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 25, 2018 17:20

WBTS - If your water tastes like pool water with rusty nuts and bolts it might be due to the following:

"A team of researchers in Wisconsin sponsored by the Midwest Technical Assistance Center (MTAC) studied chlorine’s effect on corrosion in drinking water systems. Their research found that introducing free chlorine for disinfection increased corrosion. Adding free chlorine appears to affect iron the most."

From: Chlorine’s Effect on Corrosion in Drinking Water Systems
by Michelle Moore
NDWC Promotions Writer/Editor

http://www.nesc.wvu.edu/ndwc/articles/OT/SU01/OTsu01_chlorinecorrosn.html

 

According to the above article, "Wareham currently has two water treatment plants on opposite ends of town which help to control corrosion by adding lime and chlorine to the water."


PS. Like you I also wonder why the initial more costly design was based upon foreign pipe materials. If there was a less expensive, equally suitable design possible, why wasn't it presented initially?

 

Also if anyone is wondering about the green colored portion of my above comment...I can't explain where the green color came from.



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 25, 2018 18:50

Andrea-I gave the MTAC article a read and it makes sense.  It states that the corrosion of iron (rust) is increased by chlorine.  I know enough about chemistry to understand what's happening.  Rust needs oxygen to occur.  Chlorine is an oxidizer, therefore it causes the iron to rust faster than with just the natural dissolved oxygen in the water.  When our water didn't have chlorine in it, it obviously didn't taste like chlorine nor did it have that rusty taste. It was hard water due to the iron but it was good quality drinking water.  I've commented on here before about how my family used to bottle it at their Wareham cottages and bring it back home to their Boston suburban towns that had lousy tap water.



Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jul 25, 2018 18:51

The water will still taste like cranberries. Andrea, like most things in town, the cheaper version is never presented. Town departments need to out do the next town overs project. It is horrible that the taxpayer gets Pickpocketed time and time again. Wait till you see what the WFD has in store for themselves when they build their station. Work out rooms, 15 to 25 flat screen TVs, Viking stove, deep fat fryer, the best of everything And then more of it. Meanwhile the poor slouches left to pay for this excess get screwed. All these clowns should be ashamed of themselves.



Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jul 25, 2018 18:52

The water will still taste like cranberries. Andrea, like most things in town, the cheaper version is never presented. Town departments need to out do the next town overs project. It is horrible that the taxpayer gets Pickpocketed time and time again. Wait till you see what the WFD has in store for themselves when they build their station. Work out rooms, 15 to 25 flat screen TVs, Viking stove, deep fat fryer, the best of everything And then more of it. Meanwhile the poor slouches left to pay for this excess get screwed. All these clowns should be ashamed of themselves.



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 25, 2018 21:47

Sphere - I wish our water tasted like cranberries.



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 25, 2018 21:56

WBTS - If as the article states, the water district is adding chlorine to the water to "help control corrosion" what must they be adding to help control bacteria?



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 25, 2018 22:14

Andrea- That may be written incorrectly.  Lime and chlorine both do not control corrosion. They add chlorine to kill bacteria.  They add lime to neutralize the natural oxidation (corrosion) process caused by dissolved oxygen and chlorine.  College chemistry class was 25 years ago so I don't know much more than that.

 

A very good thing in the article that makes a lot of sense is that the new plant will filter out the impurities, alleviating the need for (as many) chemicals.

 

 



Posted by: WWareham resident | Jul 26, 2018 09:50

We cannot even drink our water it's disgusting and makes all of us sick, even our dog.

Any water that turns a toilet bowl black in 3 or 4 days is not something I'm going to ingest. If this 12.5 million dollar water treatment plant doesn't make the water drinkable what's the use so fingers crossed but we all know how this is going to turn out.



Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 26, 2018 10:31

That corrosion is why Flint poisoned their population with lead. It doesn't only release iron. I hope the health department is closely monitoring kids' blood lead levels. BTW how much state money did Gifford bring in for this project, and what is she doing there? "Clean water is a key part of the town's future"? She's been drinking too much Wareham water.



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 26, 2018 12:34

WBTS - Tongue in cheek (memories of 9th grade science verified by current research)



Posted by: Phredzzz | Jul 26, 2018 14:40

To All above who care bout our Town. It just goes to show that once in awhile ( We ) Nut-jobs on this Site can have a positive impact. Based on the Press Releases at the time, the Town Politicians and the Water Department were convinced they did NOT have any options and were on the verge of Rubber-Stamping those Foreign Steel and Trump Hating Media Hyped overcharges for the Steel. We cried, We Ranted, We Complained, We even offered Optional Steel and Design ideas, and guess what; it was so hard for them to ignore us that they were forced to come forward with a  Better and More Cost effective Plan. Its still likely the Plan has some glitches and everyone knows there is always room for improvement, but Keep up the good work my fellow citizen's and who knows; it may be possible once in awhile to win one for the little guys & gals !!



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 26, 2018 14:53

phredzzz - When the final estimate came in around $2 million more than the Wareham Water District had voted for the project (supposedly due to President Trump's recent tariffs on aluminum and steel) the Water District understood  it had 2 choices: 1) go back to District voters with a request for the additional $2 million, knowing based upon the original straddle to get the funding approved that it might not be approved, or 2) seek alternative plans that would keep the project within the amount originally approved by voters.



Posted by: Phredzzz | Jul 26, 2018 15:18

Hi Andrea Smith. Thanks for the complete description of issues which impacted the chain-of-events. Makes perfect sense, if they chose option #1 the whole thing could have gone up in smoke and anyways, its just so much more FUN to think (WE) Nutjobs actually accomplished something; Keep smiling, Hee, Hee, Aooooga !!



Posted by: bruce gannon | Jul 26, 2018 17:19

the cheapest option isn't ever the best option



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