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which flows from Castle Hill in Saugus, and also as to the quality of the brook which flows past the pumping station in Cliftondale.
A subsequent application was made, Feb. 20, 1896, for the advice of the Board relative to taking an additional supply from wells in the valley of the same brook, at its junction with Crystal Brook, near the corner of Main and Harvard streets in Saugus.
Boston, March 6, 1896. On Nov. 9, 1895, the State Board of Health received from you an application with reference to the use of water for the supply of the towns of Revere and Winthrop from the tributary of Crystal Brook, flowing from the vicinity of Castle Hill in Saugus, and from the brook flowing past your present pumping station at Cliftondale. You propose to use the water during the winter season, and to allow the ground water of your present sources to accumulate for use in the summer season. Subsequently, a further request was received for advice as to procuring an additional supply from wells at a point in the town of Saugus near the corner of Main and Howard streets, which is in the valley of Crystal Brook, near the point where it is joined by the brook flowing from Castle Hill.
The towns of Revere and Winthrop are included in the metropolitan water-supply district, works for the supply of which are now being constructed, but it is not expected that these works will be in operation for
The water of the wells at Revere has always been hard, but in the last three years, owing to an excessive drought, has been affected in an increasing degree by the infiltration of sea water, and it is desirable to avoid the use of this water entirely for the present. If pumping from these wells is avoided, the water will probably return to its former condition, but it is uncertain how long a time it will require. Under the circumstances, an additional temporary supply, capable of yielding about 500,000 gallons per day during the months from June to September, inclusive, and a less amount in other months, is needed.
The Board has caused an investigation of the proposed sources of supply to be made by its engineers, and samples of the water of the brooks mentioned in the application to be analyzed.
While the water of all of the brooks is colored to a greater or less degree by contact with vegetable matter in swamps, if the water were safe for drinking, it would undoubtedly be much more satisfactory for domestic use than the water of your wells at Revere, in its present condition.
The watersheds of both of the main tributaries of the brook flowing past the pumping station at Cliftondale contain a large population, and the danger of pollution entering the stream from this population makes the
water of these brooks, and consequently of the main brook, as a whole, unsafe for drinking. The watershed of the tributary of Crystal Brook, flowing from the vicinity of Castle Hill, contains a smaller population per square mile than the others, but the danger of the pollution of the water from this population is such that this brook also must be considered unsafe for drinking.
With regard to your second question, as to the advisability of procuring an additional supply of water from wells near the corner of Main and Howard streets, in the valley of Crystal Brook, in Saugus, no definite advice can be given, in the absence of any tests to indicate the probable quantity and quality of ground water to be obtained there.
While Crystal Brook would not be a suitable source from which to take directly a supply of water for drinking, the use of water drawn from wells in the valley of the brook as a temporary source of supply would not necessarily be objectionable; and it may be said that the general conditions for obtaining an additional supply of water appear to be more favorable in the valley of this brook than elsewhere in the vicinity of your present works.
The Board would, therefore, advise that an investigation be made, with a view to determining the probable quantity and quality of water to be obtained from the ground in the valley of Crystal Brook in the vicinity of Howard and Main streets in Saugus.
The Board will, upon application, advise you further with reference to this source when you have additional information to present.
It has not been considered necessary, within the scope of this communication, to consider the provisions of chapter 400 of the Acts of 1893.
SHEFFIELD. The Sheffield Water Company applied to the Board, April 17, 1896, for its advice with reference to taking the water of the brook flowing from Three Mile Pond as a source of public water supply. The Board replied to this application as follows:
Boston, June 5, 1896. The State Board of Health has considered your application relative to a proposed water supply for Sheffield, to be taken from the brook, flowing from Three Mile Pond, known as Iron Work Brook, and has caused an examination of the proposed source to be made by one of its engineers, and samples of the water to be analyzed.
The chemical analyses show that the water is hard, and has a high color probably during most of the year; and, while it is probable that a sufficient supply for the town could be obtained from this source, the water cannot be regarded as of satisfactory quality for the purposes of a public water supply.
In reply to your application of last year, for advice with reference to the use of water from springs in the valley of Pool Brook, the Board stated that it regarded this source as an appropriate one from which to take a supply of water for the town. A second examination of the water of this source, by means of a chemical analysis in May of the present year, tends to confirm the opinion expressed last year, – that the water of the springs is soft, and of excellent quality for the purposes of a public water supply.
Judging from present information, it does not appear to the Board that there would be any material difference in the cost of works for taking water from either of the sources proposed; and, considering the excellent quality of the water of the springs in the vicinity of Pool Brook, the Board regards this source as the more appropriate one from which to take a supply of water for Sheffield.
SWAMPSCOTT. The Marblehead Water Company applied to the Board, Aug. 1, 1896, for its advice relative to an increase of their water supply by taking water from the ground in the neighborhood of Thompson's Meadow in the north part of Salem, near the boundary line between Salem and Swampscott. The Board replied to this application as follows:-
Boston, Sept. 3, 1896. The State Board of Health has considered your application for advice with reference to an additional water supply for Swampscott and Nahant, to be taken from the ground in the vicinity of Thompson's Meadow, so called, situated in the southerly portion of Salem, very close to the boundary line between Salem and Swampscott, and has caused an examination of the proposed source of supply to be made, and samples of the water from test wells in the meadow to be analyzed. The analyses show that the water is somewhat hard, but is otherwise of excellent quality for the purposes of a public water supply. Whether it will remain so if water is pumped continuously from the ground here for a long time cannot be foretold with certainty from a single examination.
Information furnished by you as to the character of the soil found in driving the test wells indicates that a layer of gravel from 18 to 24 feet in thickness was found in all of the wells, at a considerable depth beneath the surface, from which water could be pumped with freedom by a hand pump. These conditions are favorable to obtaining water freely from the ground here by means of wells. On the other hand, the extent of the meadow is limited, and the land surrounding it contains a large amount of ledge. With these conditions, and in the absence of a suitable pumping test from
wells in the meadow, it is not practicable to advise you definitely with regard to the quantity of water to be obtained from this source.
In view of the poor quality of the water now drawn from the wells in the valley of Stacy's Brook, and the need of an additional water supply, the Board regards the proposed locality as a suitable place in which to seek an additional supply of water. The Board would advise, however, tbat, before building all of the works for taking a supply from this source, you put in the necessary wells and connect them to a temporary pump, and test them by pumping continuously for a period of at least two weeks, during dry weather, in order to obtain more definite information as to the probable yield of the wells than is possible at present. It would also be well to have samples of the water collected at various times during the test, to determine what change, if any, takes place in its quality.
The Board will assist you by making such further analyses of water as may be necessary, and will give you further advice with reference to this matter, if you desire, when you have additional information to present.
Another application was received from this company, Oct. 24, 1896, after trials had been made relative to the capacity of the proposed wells for supplying water. The Board replied to this application as follows:
Boston, Nov.5, 1896. The State Board of Health received from you, on October 24, a second application with reference to a proposed water supply to be taken from the ground in Thompson's Meadow, in which you state that additional wells have been driven in this locality, and a pumping test made by pumping from the wells for a period of twelve days continuously, except for short intermissions, aggregating in all about one and a half hours, at a rate of nearly 200,000 gallons per day.
Samples of water collected and sent in by you during this test have been analyzed by the Board, with the result that the quality of the water shows no material change from the quality of samples taken from test wells in August, and in its present state is excellent for the purposes of a public water supply.
With regard to the quantity of water to be derived from wells in this locality, the tests thus far made are not conclusive; but, considering the character of the land about the meadow and of the meadow itself, it seems to be very doubtful whether this source can be depended upon to furnish enough water for the needs of Swampscott and Nahant at all times. Taking into account, however, the favorable results of the tests thus far made as to the quality of the water, the comparative economy of this source on
account of its nearness to the present distributing system, as compared with any other source from which it is at all probable that a satisfactory supply can be obtained, and the desirability of avoiding, so far as possible, the use of water from your present wells in the vicinity of Stacy's Brook, the Board is of the opinion that this source is a proper one from which to take water for Swampscott and Nahant, at the present time.
In locating works for collecting ground water, it is desirable that they be extended through the meadow sufficiently to secure as great a quantity of water as possible from the ground. If, upon actual trial, it shall be found that the yield of this source is likely to be too small for the towns of Swampscott and Nahant at all times, it is very desirable that you continue your investigations, with the object of securing a permanent supply of water of good quality and in sufficient quantity to make it possible to discontinue the use of water from your present wells, which are not satis. factory for a domestic water supply, being located in territory containing a large and rapidly growing population, and a portion of them being apparently affected to a considerable degree by the presence of sea water.
UXBRIDGE. The selectmen and board of health of Uxbridge, acting conjointly, applied to the State Board of Health, April 28, 1896, for its advice relative to the quality of the water of a well in that town, proposed as an auxiliary source of public water supply for the town. The Board replied to this application as follows :
Boston, July 3, 1896. The State Board of Health has carefully considered your application of April 28, 1896, for advice with reference to the quality of the water of a well in the Capron mill yard, which it is understood you propose to use as an auxiliary source of water supply for Uxbridge.
The Board has caused an analysis of a sample of water from this well to be made, recently, and, taking the results of this analysis in connection with the results of analyses made in previous years, it is found that the water varies greatly in character from time to time.
Under the most favorable conditions, when little or no water has been drawn from the well for a long time, the quality of the water is not objectionable for the purposes of a public water supply,
All the analyses show that the water had previously been polluted and subsequently purified in a large degree in its passage through the ground to the well, but some of the analyses show the presence of a very large amount of free ammonia in the water, indicating that at such times the water entering the well is not thoroughly purified.
There is reason to espect, therefore, that, if water is pumped from this