We took the scenic route out to Amherst to drop the kidlet off at school this weekend (2 to 202 to 9), but instead of heading straight there, once we got to Rte. 9, we headed east for a couple miles to check out our main source of water, the Quabbin Reservoir. Read more.
Pro tip: Before you send up your camera-equipped drone, make sure the camera is securely fastened. The MWRA says a crew using a professional-grade drone and camera (weighing about 100 pounds in total) learned that lesson last night when their camera separated from their drone and fell into the Quabbin Reservoir. Read more.
The top of Bellevue Hill - at 338 feet, the highest natural point in Boston - is home to two water standpipes used to maintain water pressure in West Roxbury, Roslindale and some suburbs to the south. One, built in 1915, is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and one is more modern and featureless - you can probably tell which is which.
The Cambridge Water Department turned on the spigot for MWRA water this month because of the drought that has dramatically reduced levels in its own reservoirs along Rte. 128. Read more.
A contractor is scheduled to begin work this month on a two-year project to build a new water main through Stony Brook Reservation to serve several southern suburbs. Read more.
Massport wants in on a federal lawsuit against Eversource and the MWRA over an electrical cable that feeds the Deer Island sewage plant, which the government says was not installed as deeply under Boston Harbor as required, which means it's now in the way of a $350-million dredging project. Read more.
The federal government this week sued Eversource and the MWRA because, it alleges, an electrical cable from South Boston to Deer Island is in the way of the harbor dredging the government wants to do. Read more.
Today's the anniversary of the day in 1991 when workers for the new MWRA turned a valve that stopped sewage sludge from pouring into Boston Harbor from an antiquated treatment plant at Deer Island. Paul Levy, who oversaw construction of the new treatment plant, the one with the giant eggs, recalls:
Instead of having a big event with elected and regulatory officials who would have stolen the scene, we quietly went to Deer Island and--with the guys who had loyally and with little support run the treatment plant for years--went down into a vault and--at 10:23am--simply shut off the sludge discharge line.
Kristin MacDougall posted a photo of one of two peregrine-falcon chicks born on Deer Island recently.
She reports falcons have lived high atop the sewage-treatment plant's "digesters" (the giant egg things) for awhile, but this is the first time any have hatched there.
Fisheries and Wildlife experts banded the two females (named Taylor and Julia) today.
The American Water Works Association, meeting right here in little old Boston, has named Boston's tap water the best tasting tap water in the country.
Coming in second was water from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, which is kind of odd, given that Boston's water is MWRA water, but, hey, that just means we're twice as good, right?
Fortunately, there was a happy ending. Kristin MacDougall at the MWRA reports a woman walking her dog at Deer Island called the MWRA when she noticed mama and poppa duck quacking for help at a storm drain yesterday.
The Boston Fire Department reports it sent hazmat crews to the MWRA's Deer Island treatment plant tonight when up to 200 gallons of toxic sulfuric acid spilled around 7:45 p.m.
BFD says the acid "overflowed from a holding tank to a containment area made for overflows" outdoors. The acid, used to help break down sewage, caused no injuries and posed no threats to the public, the department says.
BFD declared the situation under control around 9 p.m.; some fire crews remained on scene to monitor the cleanup by a company called Haz Mat Techs.
A panel of experts assembled by the MWRA blames last spring's catastrophic collapse of the main aqueduct feeding Boston on poorly constructed studs holding together a connection between two parts of the giant water pipe.
The failure of the aquaduct in Weston left much of the Boston area without potable water for several days.
In a report released today, the panel said cracked studs, inadequately protected from corrosion and subjected to greater than designed pressure gave way, leading to a sudden rupture of the coupling. It didn't help, the report adds, that rubber O-rings in the coupling were apparently glued in place with the equivalent of Super Glue, rather than using a factory vulcanization process.
While the stud material hardness was consistent with those specified for the coupling they exhibited characteristics that suggest poor fabrication. Cracks were present on essentially all of the thread "crowns." Additionally, cracks were present at many of the thread "roots." Upon further examination it was determined that the root cracks were located within 9 threads of the fracture surfaces. This location is consistent with the location of the highest stud load.
The Globe reports the MWRA is preparing a lawsuit against the companies responsible for the failed coupling that left us all boiling water and scrambling for loose Aquafina bottles at the supermarket.
The Globe reports water's bubbling up near where water erupted into a full-blown torrent this past spring.
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