Dear Members of the Wilkinsonville Water District:
The Board of Commissioners of the Wilkinsonville Water District (“Water District”) is aware that you and other members of the Water District may have received email and/or other communication regarding the Water District’s annual meeting and elections. The Water District would like to take this time to give information
pertaining to the meeting and correct some of the incorrect information that may be circulating.
First, pursuant to the Water District’s By-laws, Rules and Regulations, the quorum required is ten (10) registered voters that reside within the district boundaries. The quorum has always been met with the five (5) board officers and at least five (5) other residents. There have been times when the meeting had to be opened and closed and reopened while trying to get the quorum. The Water District encourage all members of the Water District to attend the Annual Meeting and the monthly meeting of the Board of Commissions.
Second, as noted above, incorrect and inaccurate information appears to be circulating as to the Water District, its Commissioners and its operations. The Board would like to clarify and address these points:
1. Relationship with Whitinsville Water Company. The Wilkinsonville Water District does not contract with Whitinsville Water Company. The Water District has a contract with WhiteWater, Inc. While Whitinsville Water Company does the majority of the maintenance of the system, any affiliate of WhiteWater, Inc. can and has done work for the district. The contract is with WhiteWater, Inc. If anyone
has any questions about the contract or the relationship, please contact the Board of Commissioners.
Again, the Board encourages all members of the Water District to attend the Annual Meeting and the monthly meeting of the Board of Commissions and address any questions or issues to the Board of Commissioners.
2. Existing Wells within the Water District. The Wilkinsonville Water District’s three the wells have a combined safe yield of 523,000 gallons per day, the Water District is limited to pumping 270,000 gallons per day (there is no 20,000 gallon buffer), as per our Water Withdrawal Permit issued by the Massachusetts
Department of Environmental Protection. While the Water District did in fact pump a daily average of 213,000 gallons in 2016, there are numerous projects that have been approved for water and several of them are in the process of being built-out. These include are Forest Edge, Leland Hill Estates, Pleasant Valley Villas, a restaurant at Galaxy Pass in addition to more stores, business, etc on Galaxy Pass. These projects will put us at our limit of approved pumping. The Board encourages all members of the Water District to attend the Annual Meeting and the monthly meeting of the Board of Commissions and address any questions or issues to the Board of Commissioners, particularly on issues on how to source additional wells and provide water to satisfy the needs of all the Water District’s members.
3. Unaccounted Water. Questions have arisen as to unaccounted water of the Water District. The Water District is working diligently to find the source of the unaccounted water. The following is an outline of this issue and the Board’s actions to identify the source of this issue and remedy it:
As part of the Water District’s permit from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Water District is required to perform a leak detection survey every three years. The Water District exceeds thisrequirement by performing leak detection surveys every year. In 2013, in response to the unaccounted water, a more extension leak detection was performed in areas of concern.
Initially, in 2013, the Water District started a meter replacement program. At this time 85% of the meters have been replaced. The Water District are also in the process of installing additional equipment (MUIs) on the meters, which will allow the Water District to obtain meter readings remotely. Not only will the Water District be able to obtain a meter reading remotely, the Water District also have the capability to run alarm reports at any time. These alarms will tell the Water District if the meter has been removed, is on backwards, no water has run
through the meter for an extended amount of time and whether water has been continuously running through the meter (which could indicate a leak in the residence or a faucet or hose left on). All equipment has been purchased.
New software has been installed. The Water District continues to ask residents to call the district office to set up appointments to have their meters changed. To date, the Water District has spent approximately $438,000 on the meter replacement program. As the Water District explained to the Town, the Water District cannot do everything all at once, due to budget constraints. Some individuals with the Town suggested that water rates of Water District
members be raised as it appears that the Water District’s rates are lower than surrounding towns; the Board has determined that raising rates would not be prudent at this time.
In addition, the Water District applied for and received a grant for a Level 1 water audit that was done by Wesson and Sampson, the engineering company. The audit was unable to pinpoint anything and recommended the Water District have a Level 5 water audit done. The Water District, based on this recommendation, obtained bids and awarded a contract to Tata and Howard at a cost of approximately $16,400 to perform the more detailed audit. Again, the contractor was unable to pinpoint the source of the unaccounted for water but made nine (9) recommendations. The Water District, by and through the Board, have addressed or are in the process of addressing each and every one of the recommendations.
As a result of the previous research, the Water District has contracted to have leak detection performed on every service within the Water District. This work is scheduled to begin the last the week of June. This work comes with a cost, specifically a cost of approximately $800 per day, in addition to the cost of having WhiteWater mark out all the services. The process involves testing each connection, determining if there is a leak and if not, proceeding with the testing of the next connection. The Board has determined that this expense is necessary in light of the unaccounted water. The goal of the Board and the Water District is to identify the source of the unaccounted water and address those issues.
As of 2016, the unaccounted water consists of 15% of the water utilized by the Water District. This is an improvement since 2013 but the Board continues to work to decrease this amount further through testing and ultimately, correcting the issue. The Water District has been working diligently on this issue since it became aware of the problem and will continue to work to resolve it quickly, economically and in an effective manner.
The Board encourages all members of the Water District to attend the Annual Meeting and the monthly meeting of the Board of Commissions to discuss any and all questions or concerns about the unaccounted water and the efforts by the Water District to identify the source of the leak(s), the work that will need to be done when the source of the leaks are found and the funding of such work.
4. New Business in Sutton and the Water District. The Water District and each of the Board of Commissioners are committed to and desire new business to come to Sutton and the Water District. The Water District continues to work with potential new businesses, the Town and others to promote Sutton
and business within the community.
The Commissioners remain committed to working with the members of the Water District, the Town, and all current and prospective business owners to meet everyone’s water needs, within the parameters of the statute that created the Water District and applicable law. We encourage any and all members who have any questions to contact the Water District, attend the Water District’s meetings to obtain complete and accurate information and ask any questions that you may have.
Wilkinsonville Water District
Board of Water Commissioners
Wilkinsonville Water District