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of the present well cannot be determined until proved by months of pumping, and other wells may be needed to intercept all of the water that may be required; but the surroundings indicate that a sufficient quantity, for a long time in the future, may be brought to a pumping station in the vicinity of the present well.
“ The Board advises that water taken from the ground should, when stored, be in a reservoir from which light is excluded.”
WESTMINSTER. A committee of the town of Westminster applied to the Board (December 26 ) for its advice as to the propriety of taking Meeting-house Pond as a source of supply for the town. The Board replied as follows:
Boston, Jan. 6, 1892. The Board has caused examinations of this pond and an analysis of its water to be made. The pond is favorably situated, both as to the character of its shores and the natural character of its watershed, for furnishing an excellent quality of water. The population on the watershed is larger than is desirable, but a chemical and microscopical examination of the water shows that it is still of excellent quality.
The Board is therefore of opinion that this source is an appropriate one for supplying the town of Westminster. The quantity of water which this pond will furnish is very much in excess of the requirements of your town, and the pond is so located that it is also an appropriate source of supply for the city of Fitchburg ; so that, while the Board is of opinion that the town of Westminster should have the right to take as much water as it needs from this source, it is also of opinion that the rights obtained by you should not be such as to prevent the city of Fitchburg from obtaining the right to use so much of the water as is not required by your town.
SEWERAGE AND SEWAGE DISPOSAL. The following summary comprises the action of the Board relative to systems of sewerage and sewage disposal, in reply to such applications as have been received during the year :
BEVERLY. An application was received (Oct. 2, 1890) from the selectmen of Beverly, requesting the advice of the Board relative to a system of sewage disposal having outlets into the sea at several points along the shore. A public hearing was granted to all parties interested, on December 2, and was continued on Jan. 6, 1891. At the former hearing, and during the interval, considerable opposition being made to the outlets in the eastern part of the town, that portion of the plan having two outlets in the east part of the town was withdrawn by the selectmen, and the Board was requested to approve the remaining outlets. The Board replied as follows:
The State Board of Health has considered the application of the selectmen of Beverly, as modified at the second hearing given at the State House on Jan. 6, 1891.
The request for advice, as it then stood, was solely in regard to the disposal of the sewage of portions of the town at three points, the largest quantity to be discharged at or near Tuck's point, and small quantities to be discharged below low water at outfalls marked 2 and 3 upon the plan presented.
The Board regards the outlets marked 2 and 3 on the plan, if extended so as to be covered at the lowest water, as suitable for the sections of the town to be drained by them.
The outlet No. 1 should, in the judgment of the Board, be changed by carrying it beyond low-water mark so that it will be always covered, opposite the point where the main sewer first reaches the shore near the Queen Hotel.
PITTSFIELD. The city of Pittsfield, acting under the provisions of chapter 375 of the Acts of 1888, presented a plan of sewers to the State Board of Health in 1890, providing for collecting the sewage at a point near the confluence of the east and west branches of the Housatonic River, but without indicating definitely the method of disposal. The Board finally approved the main features of the plan, May 12, 1890. Subsequently the city was authorized, by chapter 357 of the Acts of 1890, to build a system of sewerage and sewage disposal, subject to the approval of the State Board of Health. Under the provisions of this act the city again applied to the Board (March 20, 1891), presenting a plan of sewerage and sewage disposal, and stating their intention to build portions of said general plan, with a temporary outlet into the Housatonic River, at such a point, between the junction of the trunk sewers on the west bank of the east branch of the Housatonic River, as shown in said plan, and the junction of the east and west branches of the river, as may seem desirable. The city of Pittsfield bereby asks advice as to the place where a temporary outlet may be made into the river.” After some modifications the plan was finally presented to the Board for its approval May 11, 1891, and the Board replied as follows:
Boston, May 12, 1891. The general plan for a system of sewerage and sewage disposal for the city of Pittsfield, as modified, and finally presented by your commission on May 11, 1891, under the authority of chapter 357 of the Acts of 1890, is hereby approved by the State Board of Health.
This plan provides for the permanent disposition of the sewage by intermittent filtration through the areas of upland indicated, and allows the temporary discharge of the sewage into the river at a given point, during the construction of the works; but such discharge is not to continue after June 1, 1900.
FAIRHAVEN. The selectmen of Fairhaven applied to the Board for its advice (April 11) relative to a plan of sewerage for certain public buildings and a limited part of that town, with an outlet into the Acushnet River. The Board replied as follows:
Boston, May 5, 1891. The plan submitted for the disposal of the sewage of the Rogers school, the proposed town hall and public library, and a limited portion of said town, by means of a sewer discharging into the Acushnet River at the end of Union wharf, meets with the approval of the Board.
BROOKFIELD. The selectmen of Brookfield applied to the Board (May 30) for its advice relative to a proposed plan of sewerage and sewage disposal for the village of Brookfield. To this application the Board replied as follows:
Boston, July 8, 1891. The State Board of Health has considered your application, dated May 30, 1891, for advice with regard to a proposed plan of sewerage for the village of Brookfield, intended to provide at present for the storm water from the central portion of the village and the wastes from the shoe factory, and ultimately to provide for the sewerage of a large part of the village.
The Board is of opinion that the plan presented is not the best one for the town to adopt, because the discharge of much sewage at the point proposed would be likely to create a nuisance, and seriously pollute the stream which runs through the meadow and crosses the road to West Brookfield, three-quarters of a mile below.
The town, in planning a sewerage system, should have in view the probable necessity of purifying sewage in the not distant future; and for this and other reasons it will be best not to permit any surface water to enter the sewers designed for the removal of the sewage, using independent sewers or drains for the removal of the surface water, if underground removal is found necessary.
The Board is of opinion that the best course for the town to pursue is to have the question of its sewerage re-examined by some engineer, who is competent to advise in regard to sewage disposal.
The plan made should provide in the beginning for the disposal of sewage upon land, unless the cost is too great ; in which case the Board would consider a plan which provides for discharging sewage into the Quaboag River for the present, but is also arranged with reference to the purification of the sewage in the future.
North ADAMS. The sewer committee of North Adams applied to the Board for its advice (March 24) upon a proposed plan of sewerage and sewage disposal for the principal part of the village of North Adams, with an outlet into the Hoosac River below Johnson's Mill. The Board replied as follows:
Boston, April 7, 1891. The State Board of Health has considered your application for advice with reference to a proposed main sewer in the town, to serve a locality known as the swamp, to intercept existing sewers which discharge into a stone drain in said swamp or into the Hoosac River, and to discharge its contents into the main river at a point below Johnson's Mill.
The Board recognizes that the construction of a sewer as proposed will greatly improve the sanitary condition of the region known as the swamp, and that the sewage will be discharged further down stream, and under somewhat more favorable conditions, than beretofore. It also recognizes that the amount of sewage now entering the river at North Adams and Adams is large, and increasing with the extension of the sewers in streets or districts not heretofore sewered and with the increase of population ; so that the time is close at hand when the river will be so much polluted that it will be necessary to purify the sewage. This purification can be accomplished either by the intermittent filtration of the sewage through porous land, or by precipitating the solid particles contained in the sewage with chemicals. In either case the purification can be best accomplished below the outlet shown on the plan submitted ; and the sewer should be constructed with a view to its extension in the near future to the locality best adapted for the purification of the sewage.
We are informed that sewers already built in North Adams have been designed to exclude surface water, and that it is proposed to continue the same plan with reference to the sewer now proposed. This is a wise provision in places like North Adams, as it permits the use of smaller main sewers than could otherwise be adopted, and lessens the difliculty and cost of purifying the sewage.
The Board approves the proposed plan as a temporary expedient to meet pressing sanitary needs, and as a part of a main sewer to convey the sewage of the town to future purification works.
THE MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOL FOR THE FEEBLE-MINDED. The trustees of this institution applied to the Board (April 23) for its advice as to the disposal of the sewage of a second group of buildings upon their land in Waltham, the proposed mode involving disposal by filtration upon a tract of about two acres.
The Board replied as follows:
Boston, June 18, 1891. The land suitable for sewage disposal consists of a generally flat area on the north-easterly side of the driveway leading to the school, and a somewhat narrow strip which slopes from the driveway down to the meadow on the south-westerly side. The flat area is the most available for sewage disposal, and consists mainly of porous gravel covered with black loam and yellow subsoil. In portions of the area this covering is from one and five-tenths to two feet deep. In making use of this land it will not be desirable to use any portion of it within ten feet of the street, or within one hundred feet of any house; and a small strip adjoining the hill should also be excluded because of its impervious nature.
The area of porous land required to dispose of the sewage from this group of buildings in a satisfactory manner is estimated to be one acre; and it seems doubtful if this area can, under the limitations above given, be obtained without utilizing a portion of the sloping land on the south-westerly side of the driveway.
Where the sewage is applied to the surface, as proposed by you,