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thereby. It shall also from time to time consult with and advise persons or corporations engaged or intending to engage in any manufacturing or other business, drainage or sewage from which may tend to cause the pollution of any inland water, as to the best practicable method of preventing such pollution by the interception, disposal or purification of such drainage or sewage; provided, that no person shall be compelled to bear the expense of such consultation or advice, or of experiments made for the purposes of this act.
All such authorities, corporations, firms and individuals are hereby required to give notice to said Board of their intentions in the premises, and to submit for its advice outlines of their proposed plans or schemes in relation to water supply and disposal of drainage and sewage; and all petitions to the Legislature for authority to introduce a system of water supply, drainage or sewerage shall be accompanied by a copy of the recommendation and advice of the said Board thereon."
During the year 1896 the Board has given its advice to the following cities, towns, corporations and individuals who have applied for such advice under the provisions of the general act of 1888, or under special acts relating to water supply and sewerage.
Replies were made during the year to applications made from the following sources for advice relative to water supply: Acton, East Acton, Ashland, Braintree (two replies), Cobasset, Franklin, Harvard (Hildreth Bros.), Hatfield, Haverhill (Real Estate Improvement Company), Huntington, Hyde Park Water Company, Kingston, Massachusetts School for the Feeble-minded, Medfield Insane Asylum, Medway, Medway Water Company, Merrimac, Montague (Miller's Falls), Northampton, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Revere Water Company, Sheffield Water Company, Swampscott (Marblehead Water Company) two replies, Uxbridge, Ware, Wellesley, Williamsburg and Woburn.
Replies were made during the year relative to sewerage and sewage disposal, in answer to applications from the following sources : Agawam, Attleborough, Brockton (two replies), Danvers, Danvers Lunatic Hospital, Metropolitan Sewerage Commission (four replies), Natick, Springfield, Stockbridge, Taunton (four replies), Van Choate Electric Company of Foxborough, Westborough Insane Hospital and Whitman.
Replies were also made to the authorities of certain cities and towns, relative to the pollution of streams, as follows: to the water board of Bradford, the water board of Ipswich, the select
men of Manchester, the board of health of North Adams, the selectmen of Northfield, the water board of Peabody, Mr. U. W. Boyden of Walpole (the Neponset Reservoir), Wrentham (Messrs. Lincoln, Bacon & Co. of Plainville), the Williamstown Water Company.
WATER SUPPLY. The following is the substance of the action of the Board during the past year, in reply to applications for its advice relating to water supply:
ACTON. An application was received from the water committee of Acton, Nov. 8, 1895, requesting the advice of the Board relative to a proposed water supply to be taken from the ground in the west part of the town, near the boundary line between Acton and Boxborough. The Board replied to this application as follows:
Boston, March 6, 1896. The Board has caused an examination of the territory from which it is proposed to take the supply to be made by one of its engineers, and has analyzed samples of water sent in by you from test wells in this territory.
The analyses show that the water was soft and of excellent quality for the purposes of a public water supply at the time the samples were collected. It appears that only a small amount of water had been drawn from the wells at this time, and, though the water was of satisfactory quality, whether it will remain so when water is pumped continuously for a long time cannot be predicted with certainty with present information. Experience with ground-water supplies of the State shows that in some cases, where the water was excellent at first, iron has subsequently appeared in excessive quantities, and the quality of the water has rapidly deteriorated with long-continued pumping, until it has become necessary to provide a new supply. In other cases the waters have remained unchanged after as many as twenty years of continuous pumping, but there is no case which has come to the attention of the Board in which longcontinued pumping has improved the quality of the water.
The probable quantity of water to be obtained from an underground source is necessarily somewhat indeterminate. The indications in this case, furnished by an examination of the results obtained from fourteen test wells driven in this locality, are, on the whole, unfavorable to obtaining a large amount of water from the ground here, because the stratum of water-bearing material is in some places very thin and in other places
wholly absent, and because ledge is found in some places at a depth of only 17 or 18 feet beneath the surface.
Under the circumstances, the Board does not advise the construction of works for taking a supply from this locality, unless more extended investigations and a suitable pumping test should indicate beyond reasonable doubt that a suflicient supply of water of satisfactory quality can be obtained from the ground in the locality proposed.
EAST ACTON. An application was received Feb. 18, 1896, from citizens of East Acton, for the advice of the Board relative to the propriety of taking a supply of water from the water works of the town of Concord. The Board replied to this application as follows:
BOSTON, March 6, 1896. The town of Concord is supplied from Sandy Pond, in Lincoln, which is also the supply of the town of Lincoln. The act of the Legislature giving these towns the right to supply themselves with water (chapter 188, Acts of 1872) contains the following provision :
SECT. 11. All the provisions of this act concerning the town of Concord shall apply to the town of Lincoln; and if, in the future, the water of said pond shall prove insufficient for both, the town of Lincoln shall be first supplied.
The capacity of Sandy Pond to supply the towns of Concord and Lincoln is limited, and, while no record of the amount of water consumed in these towns is available, calculations based upon the probable yield of Sandy Pond indicate that the consumption has probably already nearly reached its safe capacity.
The Board is, therefore, of the opinion that the capacity of the Concord water works is likely to prove insufficient for the supply of both Concord and East Acton in the near future, and, under existing circumstances, does not advise East Acton to obtain a supply from the Concord works, as proposed.
ASHLAND. The committee on water supply of Ashland applied to the Board, July 15, 1896, for advice relative to a proposed source of water supply for Ashland. The Board replied to this application as follows:
Boston, Sept. 3, 1896. The State Board of Health received from you, on July 15, 1896, an application for advice with reference to a proposed source of water supply
for Ashland. Subsequently, test wells were driven by you in the vicinity of the Sudbury River above the town, and in the valley of Cold Spring Brook, and the Board was informed that it was proposed to take the supply from a large well, to be located on the southerly side of the Sudbury River, between it and the Boston & Albany Railroad, about 1,000 feet west of the point where the railroad is crossed by Pleasant Street.
The Board has caused an examination of the proposed source of supply to be made by one of its engineers, and a sample of water from a test well, located at the point at which it is proposed to locate the well for the supply of the town, to be analyzed. The analysis shows that the water coming from the well at this time was of excellent quality for the purposes of a public water supply. It appears that only a small amount of water had been drawn from the well at the time this sample was collected, and it is impossible to predict from this analysis what the character of the water would be if a quantity sufficient for the supply of Ashland should be pumped continuously from the ground here for a long time.
With regard to the quantity of water obtainable from a well in this location, the information obtained by the test thus far made is insufficient to furnish a basis for a satisfactory estimate. The indications furnished by the test wells driven within 200 feet of the location of the proposed well are very unfavorable to obtaining any large quantity of water from the ground in this vicinity, both on account of the character of the soil, which was extremely fine, and on account of the nearness of ledge to the surface of the ground. Moreover, such indications as are furnished by the appearance of the ground about the well are not favorable to the existence of a deep layer of porous gravel of any considerable extent in this vicinity.
Under the circumstances, the Board does not advise the construction of works for taking a supply from this vicinity, unless more extended investigations by means of test wells and a suitable pumping test shall show that water of satisfactory quality is likely to be obtained from the ground in this vicinity in sufficient quantity for the supply of the town.
The Board will, upon application, advise you further with reference to a water supply when you have additional information to present.
BRAINTREE. The water commissioners of Braintree applied to the Board, July 20, 1896, for its advice relative to increasing their water supply by taking water from driven wells in the neighborhood of Little Pond. The Board replied to this application as follows:
Boston, Aug. 6, 1896. The State Board of Health has considered your application with reference to a proposed additional water supply for Braintree, to be taken from
the ground north of the present filter gallery near the shore of Little Pond, and has caused an examination of the proposed source to be made and a sample of the water from a test well in this locality to be analyzed.
The results of the analysis show that the water is of the same general character as that of the filter gallery. An examination of the conditions about your present filter gallery, taken in connection with the temperature of the water and the character of the analyses shows clearly that the greater portion of the water entering your filter gallery comes by filtration from the pond.
From the information obtainable as to the area of the pond and its watershed, and with certain assumptions as to its storage capacity, it is found that the draft from your present filter gallery in the past two years approached quite closely the probable capacity of the pond in a very dry year. The quantity of water that can be obtained from the ground within the watershed of the pond is no greater than could be drawn from the pond direct, unless, by lowering the ground water near the border of the watershed, water may be induced to flow through the ground toward the filter gallery from beyond the limit of the superficial watershed of the pond. There is no evidence that any large amount of water will flow toward the proposed works from points outside the watershed, and consequently an extension of the collecting system, as proposed, cannot be expected to increase very materially the quantity of ground water obtainable in the vicinity of Little Pond. The construction of additional works along the shore of the pond would make it possible, by lowering the level of the ground water, to draw a somewhat greater quantity of the water stored in the ground over a larger area than at present, and probably to cause a somewhat greater amount of filtration from the pond into the ground.
The watershed of Little Pond contains a population of about 620, or about 1,100 persons per square mile, and, as there are no sewers in this territory, the water is exposed to danger of pollution from this population, so that this pond cannot be regarded as a proper source of water supply if the water is taken directly.
An examination of the results of analyses of samples of water collected from your present filter gallery from time to time shows that there has been a deterioration in the quality of the water, and in the latter part of 1895 the presence of an excessive amount of iron gave evidence that the water of the pond is only partially purified in its passage through the ground. The character of the water varies with the season, the water being better in wet than in dry seasons; but it is probable that, with a continued draft upon the filter gallery, the water will grow worse rather than better in the future.