Category Archives: Water

Acton’s Health Department and Water Quality

Water is essential to life, and thus to health.  Here in Acton, the town Health Department oversees many water-related activities and entities. It attends to public and private wells, swimming pools and the NARA Park swimming beach, potential sources of groundwater contamination (including septic systems, underground storage tanks, and two Superfund sites), and potential sources of surface water contamination (including car washes, stormwater runoff, and “manure compliance”). The department also interfaces with the Acton Water District concerning water quality in the public water supply, and with the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District for water quality testing in the schools.

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Lack of Progress on Remediation of 1,4-Dioxane at WR Grace Superfund Site

The previous post described the recent progress that has been made in reducing the levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at the WR Grace Superfund Site by extracting and treating the groundwater, as called for in the 2005 Record of Decision (ROD). Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for 1,4-Dioxane.

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Progress on Remediation of VOCs at WR Grace Superfund Site

Since 1985, groundwater at the WR Grace Superfund Site in southeast Acton has been extracted and treated for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Data from the 2018 annual monitoring report suggest that this remediation is making progress.

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Green Acton Provides Stakeholder Input for WR Grace Superfund Site Five-year Review

As part of its regular schedule of every-five-years reviews of each active Superfund site, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks input from affected communities. The WR Grace site is up for review this year, and EPA sought input from Green Acton, the Acton Water District, and the Town of Acton Health Department.

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Warrant Articles #39 & 40: Amend General Bylaws: Stormwater Management Revisions, Amend Zoning Bylaw: Stormwater

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More details on 2019 Warrant Articles #39 & 40: Stormwater

Stormwater is water that runs off the land, typically following rainfall, snow melt, or a leak or overflow. On landscapes impacted by human development, stormwater can carry sediment, fertilizer, harmful bacteria, oil, gas, toxic metals, and salt into nearby waterways. Water that runs into storm drains is water that is not available to nurture plants or recharge aquifers. The 2019 Acton Town Meeting Warrant has two warrant articles concerning stormwater and stormwater management. Green Acton recommends voting in favor of both of them.

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2019 Election for Acton Water District Commissioner

The Acton Water District (AWD) is an independent government entity, separate from Acton Town government. As such, it is led by a Board of Water Commissioners, analogous to the Board of Selectmen for the Town of Acton; both serve as the legislative bodies for their respective entities. The three Water Commissioners are elected officials, who serve three-year terms of office. In the 2019 election, one candidate will be on the ballot for one available Water Commissioner seat: Barry Rosen.

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Green Acton Position on Extending Nagog Pond Order of Conditions

At the Green Acton meeting on December 11, 2018, by consensus of the Directors present, Green Acton adopted the following position with respect to Concord’s application for a three-year extension to its Order of Conditions (“wetlands permit”) for the expansion of its water treatment facility at Nagog Pond:

In view of the important new information that has come to light in the three years since the Acton Conservation Commission last considered Concord’s expanded water treatment facility on Nagog Pond, Green Acton urges ConsCom to deny the requested three-year extension, invite a new Notice of Intent, and then hold a hearing that could deliberate on a wider range of potential environmental harms and remedies than were addressed in the original Order of Conditions.

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Missed the 1,4-Dioxane Panel? View it here.

On Oct. 25, 2018, Acton residents benefited from a crash course on 1,4-Dioxane in Acton’s groundwater and drinking water.

From left to right: Moderator Kim Kastens and panelists Matt Mostoller, Dan Groher, and Diane Manganaro. Photo by Norm Strahle.

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Has Acton’s 1,4-Dioxane situation been getting better or worse?

The previous post looked at the 1.5-year-old effort to divert 1,4-Dioxane in the Nuclear Metals, Inc. (NMI) plume before it can reach the public water supply. This post looks at a longer time frame, and asks whether dioxane levels in the Acton public water supply wells have been getting better or worse over the scale of a decade.

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