August 1 2018

Watering Ban Update: Vine Brook Work Well Underway, Re-evaluation of Situation to Follow

By: Rich Hosford

Burlington is currently under a watering ban but that situation will be re-evaluated shortly.

As reported by BNEWS, the watering ban was put in effect on June 5 after workers doing repairs on a faulty filter at the Vine Brook Treatment Plant found additional issues with some hatches and other equipment that need to be addressed immediately to keep the plant operational in the years ahead.

That work required a cut in the capacity of the Vine Brook plant which is already underperforming due to contamination found in 2013 that shuttered three wells. The reduced capacity, coupled with an increase in water use throughout the town, prompted the need for a watering ban and an emergency connection to Lexington.

On Wednesday the Department of Public Works said the watering ban has been a success thus far and that water use is well below normal summertime highs.

“The Department of Public Works would like to thank our residents and businesses for collaborating with the water restrictions that are in place to allow for the repair of the filter at the Vine Brook treatment plant,” the DPW said in a statement.   

The DPW said the town’s water use during the last month has been as low as 2.6 million gallons per day compared to a high of 4.7 million gallons per day the town was using before the ban.

The DPW also said on Wednesday that work at the Vine Brook plant has proceeded and it should be back to its normal, post contamination, capacity.

“As of today the filter has been coated and installation of gravel and sand media is scheduled to be completed by the weekend,” the department said. “The filter will need to be treated prior to put it back in operation. The plan is to be able to run this filter by midweek (next week).”

When that work is done the DPW will reassess the need for the watering ban, which will also take into consideration drought conditions and rainfall levels.  

“At that point we will evaluate the weather conditions to determine what kind of water restrictions will need to remain in place,” the statement reads.

There is also a need to clear sediment build-up n the sanitation basin at the Mill Pond Reservoir, DPW Director John Sanchez said in an interview in June. He explained to keep that running at full capacity that must be addressed and will likely factor into the timing of any change in the watering ban situation.

So for now the watering ban remains in effect. As a reminder the Outdoor Watering Restrictions consists of:

- Irrigation of lawns via sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems

- Washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks, except as necessary to apply surface treatments such as paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement or cement.

 

The penalty for violating the ban include a warning for the first violation. A second violation carries a fine of $50 and each subsequent violation carries a fine of $100. These fines are non-criminal dispositions.


 

 
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