Thursday, November 12, 2009

Who Would Want to Take Down Our Dam?

From the Blog "Shrewsburied," Thursday, November 15, 2007
(Shrewsburied covers issues of concern to residents of Shrewsbury)

"Sewer fees up 70% in 2010"

"Much of the revenue from the higher fees will fund a $19.5 million upgrade of the treatment plant. Specifically, a new phosphorus-removal system will reduce the amount of phosphorus discharged from the plant into the Assabet River. Presently each day the plant discharges about 28 pounds of phosphorus dissolved in 4.4 million gallons of treated water; by 2010, that will drop to about 4 pounds in 4.65 million gallons. The state and federal governments want less phosphorus in the Assabet River because phosphorus fertilizes algae growth in the river during late summer."

"The state encouraged the town to build the treatment plant, and the state approved the location, design, and operation of the plant. The state also specified the standards that the treated water must meet before it can be discharged into the Assabet. But when the state decided that the plant was polluting the Assabet, Shrewsbury -- not the state -- had to pay to correct the problem. Tens of millions of dollars that could have been spent on Shrewsbury's schools, police, and other departments will instead be spent to clean a river that doesn't even flow through Shrewsbury."

The Assabet does flow through Stow and Maynard and that's where some of the sewerage that these towns are dumping is ending up. Beyond that, in order to be able to continue dumping in our yards these towns would like to take down the Ben Smith Dam because it will save them tax dollars, and BTW its not their town.

I would like to give the good people of Shewsbury, Northboro, Westboro, Marlboro, Hudson and even Maynard, the benefit of the doubt here. I'm sure they are not aware of what the "Consortium" is doing in their names.

I am a bit concerned that the "Consortium" proposes that it is OK to continue polluting the river, so long as it flows away quickly. If it doesn't pool up and linger too long in front of anyone important's home, then its OK. I wonder what the people of Billerica think about all this.

Here's a picture of the water intake station for the Town of Billerica Drinking Water Plant along the Concord River......Guess where what we dump into the Assabet ends up?

The Assabet River is not a magic conduit. Things that are dumped into the river do not magically disappear. They end up somewhere else. And when they do somebody has to clean up the mess. Taking down these dams will just move the problem somewhere else.

I personally do not feel that my community should have to pay the price so that people in these "Consortium" towns can avoid paying to clean up their own mess.

1 comment:

  1. Michael Marshall, Stow residentNovember 20, 2009 at 4:55 PM

    The Assabet River is so beautiful as it is! Why the rush to change it? My hope is that the solution will be well thought out and for the best for all involved, especially the Assabet.