To help meet revised federal standards and ensure the safety of Peabody’s drinking water, Mayor Edward Bettencourt has unveiled a new plan to upgrade the city’s two main water treatment facilities.
In January, Bettencourt secured a $1 million bond authorization from the City Council to perform the necessary upgrades to the water treatment facilities.
Bettencourt has also contacted the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority relative to financing the installation of new mixers to existing water tanks.
“Ensuring the safety of our drinking water is a primary responsibility of municipal government and one that I take very seriously,” Bettencourt said in a recent statement. “Please know that I am committed to doing whatever it takes to see that Peabody meets the (Environmental Protection Agency's) testing requirements and continues to provide its residents with safe, healthy drinking water.”
The revised EPA standards call for more rigid testing procedures relative to disinfecting products, which result from treating water with chlorine.
Recently, water taken from various sampling locations around the city was found to contain levels of these products that exceeded the EPA standard according to revised water sampling guidelines.
Although the water samples do not meet EPA standard, they don't pose any imminent health risks to the community, according to city officials.
In October 2012, Bettencourt became aware of the issues regarding the water system, and the approaching deadline to meet the revised EPA standards. He reached out to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Public Health and has since completed the design of a system that will ensure regulatory compliance.
The upgrades are set to begin in May and are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.