THANK YOU!!!

Pascoag Water Department, on behalf of its customers, wants to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have assisted us during the MTBE crisis. Several major corporations have donated thousands of gallons of water to the people of Pascoag. These donations were unsolicited – they called to help us!!!

 

Special thanks to: Poland Spring and Staples Office Supply Stop and Shop Sam’s Club and Wal-mart RI Food Bank

 

Thanks to these generous donations, we now have enough water to make 3 gallons available to each family per week through mid-November.

 

From the first day of the MTBE crisis, Harrisville Fire Department opened its doors to Pascoag water customers. People have been able to obtain water there, free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This has been a great help to Pascoag residents – all members of the Harrisville Fire Department deserve special thanks.

 

Harrisville Fire District, through the interconnection line, will be providing Pascoag water customers 100,000 gallons of water per day – again at no cost to Pascoag. As we’ve all seen across the country, people have been uniting to help friends and strangers. There could be no finer example of a community uniting to help each other than Harrisville’s example of generosity.

 

The Town Council recently unanimously supported Pascoag’s application for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). This grant, in an amount not to exceed $200,000, will go a long way to assist Pascoag in meeting costs associated with locating the source of the contamination, engineering fees, test well digging costs, and other expenses to begin the clean-up process. As these funds are not immediately available, the Town of Burrillville has agreed to establish a “line of credit” for Pascoag until the CDBG funds become available in mid 2002. A special thank you to all Town Council members who supported Pascoag in this endeavor.

 

On a local level, Brigido’s IGA Marketplace has loaned Pascoag equipment to assist in unloading of the water deliveries to the District. They have allowed us to use their equipment on a weekly basis. In addition to this, IGA has also expressed interest in donating water to Pascoag customers when current supplies run out.

 

CVS and McLaughlin and Moran have also expressed interest in future water deliveries to Pascoag water customers.

 

A special thanks to the Pascoag Fire Department volunteers who dedicated a Saturday to assist in the water donations to our customers.

 

The Burrillville School Department has opened the showers at the Levy Rink to all Pascoag water customers. New hours are:

 

7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Monday through Friday

 

3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

 

7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

 

These shower facilities are available for all Pascoag water customers. We all appreciate their hospitality, and want to say a special thank you to the School Administration for their cooperation.

 

Finally, a special thank you to all Pascoag customers from the District employees. We appreciate your support during this time.

NOTICE TO ALL PASCOAG WATER DEPARTMENT CUSTOMERS

During the MTBE crisis in the Pascoag Water Department, the Levy Rink will be open to Pascoag water customers who wish to use shower facilities. The Rink will be available to Pascoag residents the following hours:

 

7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Monday through Friday

 

3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Notice of Public Meeting

 

MTBE In The Pascoag Water System

September 25, 2001

 

A public meeting to answer concerns about the current MTBE crisis in the Pascoag Water System will be held on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 at 7:00 p.m., at the Burrillville Middle School, Bronco’s Highway, Burrillville.

 

Everyone is invited to attend. Representatives from the State and the Pascoag Utility District will be available to answer questions.

HEALTH Reommends Reduced Use of Pascoag Water MTBE Contamination Levels Contine to Rise

September 17, 2001 Date: September 17, 2001 Time: 5:11 p.m. Contact: June Swallow (401) 639-6451 News Release Department of Health HEALTH Recommends Reduced Use of Pascoag Water MTBE Contamination Levels Continue to Rise

 

The RI Department of Health (HEALTH) recommends that customers of the Pascoag Water System take further actions to conserve water and reduce exposures to the drinking water contaminant, MTBE.

 

Levels of MTBE in Pascoag wells climbed from 340 ppb (parts per billion) on September 1, 2001, to approximately 600 ppb as of September 17, 2001. In response, HEALTH recommends that Pascoag customers continue to use bottled water for drinking, cooking and food preparation. As an additional precaution, HEALTH advises customers to adopt the following guidelines:

 

Reduce the time spent in the shower or bath

Ventilate bathrooms with exhaust or window fans

Give sponge baths to children who may swallow bath water

Reduce overall water use

 

HEALTH encourages Pascoag residents to wash clothes at laundromats, whenever possible, and use water conservation devices on showers and toilets. Outdoor water uses should be curtailed.

 

Reductions in the levels of MTBE could occur later this week when the connection between the Pascoag and Harrisville water systems is expected to be complete. Harrisville will provide about 100,000 gallons of water per day, approximately 30% of the water needed by Pascoag. While this measure will reduce exposure to MTBE, the water will remain unsafe for drinking and cooking.

 

Late last week the Department of Environmental Management released a report citing two possible sources of the MTBE contamination in the Pascoag Water System. On September 13, 2001, an immediate compliance order was issued to Main Street Mobil at 24 North Main Street in Pascoag to investigate and remediate leaking petroleum from underground storage tanks at the station.

 

Seven inches of gasoline, with high concentrations of MTBE, were discovered earlier in September in a recently installed groundwater monitoring well located within approximately 20 feet from Main Street Mobil’s underground storage tanks. The company has five tanks registered with DEM, three of which store gasoline. Each tank has a capacity of 6,000 gallons.

 

Under the compliance order, Robert L Laverdiere and Mary Ellen Laverdiere, owners of Pascoag Main Street Service, and Potter Oil, Inc., which operates the station, were immediately to assume full responsibility for all on-site and off-site investigation and remedial activities relating to the facility’s underground storage tanks; within 24 hours engage a qualified environmental consultant or contractor to oversee the work; within 72 hours perform leak detection “precision” testing on the facility’s three gasoline underground storage tank systems and immediately empty any questionable tanks; and investigate the extent of subsurface contamination and remediate the site.

 

As of today, Pascoag Water System has not been informed of the results of this compliance order. However, Pascoag Utility District is investigating the possibility of obtaining an immediate restraining order against the Laverdiere’s and Potter Oil. As recently as Friday, September 14, 2001, gasoline is still being delivered to the site on North Main Street.

 

A second immediate compliance order was issued to the Town of Burrillville to evaluate the effectiveness of an ongoing remediation of a leaking underground storage tank site at its public works garage at 65 Union Avenue and take action to correct any deficiencies , for treat gastroesophageal reflux disease see here . The Town of Burrillville has been involved in investigation and cleanup activities at its public works garage since gasoline was discovered when underground tanks were removed several years ago.

 

Pascoag Water Department is committed to keeping its customers informed and up-to-date on the MTBE issue. We appreciate your continued understanding.

A Letter From Ted Garille Spring 2001

Dear Pascoag Water Customer,

 

As I sit here in my office on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, the entire staff and I are sure all of you, are both shocked, saddened and angry over the cowardly attack on our country. Our sincerest condolences to everyone who has been touched by this terrible national tragedy and we pray for our leaders and the men and women of our armed forces as we go forward.

 

Closer to home, I want everyone to know that we continue to work on the water situation effecting you here in Pascoag. As you hopefully saw the RI DEM has cited the Main Street Mobil Station and also the Town of Burrillville. These citations will further pinpoint, with a very high degree of accuracy, the source of our drinking water contamination.

 

I want to thank the staff of the Pascoag Utility District for putting in very long hours while exhibiting a high degree of professionalism. However, I want especially to thank you, those most effected, for your patience and understanding, support and your faith in all of us who are working towards a satisfactory resolution of this nightmare we are all living on a daily basis.

 

I am currently working with the Town of Burrillville regarding an advance of $200,000, to be reimbursed with CDBG Grant money next summer. A special “Thank You” to Mike Wood for all his help. Additionally, we are looking to the USDA and others, such as the Champlin Foundation and the Governor’s Office for financial relief. MTBE related costs to date are approximately $40,000 and climbing. As you can see we need help. This is not a short-term problem! I feel we are talking, at least months before complete resolution is reached. The Harrisville water is a giant step, we hope, towards this end BUT it is, again, only one step in a multi-step process. Many sincere thanks to the HFD Operating Committee!

 

There will be bottled water available to our customers on Saturday September 21st from 9AM until 12 Noon. We will be handing out the remainder of the water from Staples and Poland Springs and hopefully, we will have additional bottles available from Stop and Shop by then. At least 12 half-liter bottles will be given to each customer, more if available. Please watch the papers and www.pfd.org for updates.

 

Ted Garille – General Manager

DEM TAKES ACTIONS TO ADDRESS CONTAMINATED PUBLIC DRINKING WATER WELLS IN PASCOAG

The Department of Environmental Management issued two immediate compliance orders to address situations found while testing for the gasoline additive MTBE at sites in Pascoag.

 

One orders Main Street Mobil at 24 North Main Street in Pascoag to investigate and remediate leaking petroleum from underground storage tanks at the station. The other orders the Town of Burrillville to evaluate the effectiveness of an ongoing remediation of a leaking underground storage tank site at its public works garage at 65 Union Avenue and take action to correct any deficiencies. Although both sites are near the Pascoag Utility District public drinking water wells that are contaminated with MTBE, it is not known if the contamination stems from the gasoline leaks at either or both sites.

 

Seven inches of gasoline, with high concentrations of MTBE, were discovered last Thursday in a recently installed groundwater monitoring well located approximately 20 feet from Main Street Mobil’s underground storage tanks. The company has five tanks registered with DEM, three of which store gasoline. Each has a capacity of 6,000 gallons.

 

Under the compliance order, Robert L. Laverdiere and Mary Ellen Laverdiere, owners of Pascoag Main Street Service, and Potter Oil, Inc., which operates the station, must immediately assume full responsibility for all on-site and off-site investigation and remedial activities relating to the facility’s underground storage tanks; within 24 hours engage a qualified environmental consultant or contractor to oversee the work; with 72 hours perform leak detection “precision” testing on the facility’s three underground storage tank systems and immediately empty any questionable tanks; and investigate the extend of subsurface contamination and remediate the site.

 

The Town of Burrillville has been involved in investigation and cleanup activities at its public works garage since gasoline was discovered when underground tanks were removed several years ago. Under today’s compliance order, the town must engage the services of an environmental consultant/contractor within 24 hours to evaluate the performance of its existing remedial systems and conduct further subsurface investigations to determine whether any petroleum contamination has moved off-site or otherwise escaped the existing remedial efforts. Although MTBE has been present in groundwater from shallow monitoring wells at the public works facility, no information is currently available regarding the water quality of the bedrock aquifer at and down-gradient of it. Therefore, the compliance order specifies that the town’s investigation must include a study of the bedrock aquifer at those places. The town must submit a general scope of work and a time schedule to DEM within 72 hours, and must implement the work within 48 hours of DEM’s approval of the submitted plan.

 

Both compliance orders are enforceable in Superior Court. In each of the two compliance orders, three specific violations of law were cited. Failure to comply can result in civil and/or criminal penalties up to $25,000 per violation per day.

 

The Departmental of Environmental Management also issued an emergency approval for the Harrisville Fire District to construct a new well supply near Eccelston Field in Burrillville. The district had sought the approval to possibly assist the Pascoag Utility District, which is coping with an MTBE contamination problem at its two well sites. Prior to the emergency, The Harrisville Fire District had filed an application with DEM to develop the Eccelston Field site to meet its own district’s needs.

 

The emergency approval enables Harrisville to move forward immediately with the construction and operation of the new well field if it chooses to do so. The approval and an associated letter from DEM set forth several conditions that Harrisville will need to meet in order to obtain final authorization to operate the well field on a permanent basis. A key condition is that Harrisville must monitor the impacts of the new well field on stream flow in the Clear River and associated wetlands. If such impacts are found to occur, Harrisville Fire District may be required to limit withdrawals during periods of low flow.

 

In reaching its decision on the emergency approval for the new well field, DEM consulted closely with the RI Department of Health and the RI Water Resources Board.

 

In other news in the Pascoag Water Department, customers are reminded that effective Tuesday, September 18, 2001, a MANDATORY outside water ban is in effect. The water ban, which will be strictly enforced, prohibits any outside watering (lawns, gardens, etc.), washing cars, and any other outside use of water.

 

Bottled water is still available at the District office during normal business hours for those customers who were not able to pick up their free case last Saturday. The District expected a delivery of 1,300 cases of water from Stop and Shop this week. However, the events of September 11, 2001, have detoured that water to New York City. We’re sure all our customers join us in extending our heartfelt sympathy to all victims of the tragedy. Stop and Shop assures the District, that it will honor its commitment to deliver bottled to our customers next week. We will keep our customers updated as soon as we know the delivery date.

 

Senator Chafee’s visit to Pascoag, scheduled for Monday, September 17, 2001, has postponed. His office will re-schedule the Senator’s visit within the next several weeks.

 

Pascoag Water Department expects that by late next week, an interconnection with the Harrisville Fire District’s Water Department will be complete. That interconnection will allow 100,000 gallons of water from Harrisville to flow into Pascoag’s distribution system. The effect of this infusion of water will be two-fold. First, it will hopefully, lower the levels of MTBE in Pascoag’s water. Secondly, it will allow Pascoag to draw less water from its surrounding wellfields, thus lowering the possibility of Pascoag pulling in more MTBE

MTBE update

Throughout the village, test wells continue to be dug. So far, test results have been helpful in determining the direction of the MTBE contamination. However, no tests to date have conclusively determined the source of the contamination.

 

Levels of MTBE concentration at both Well 3 and 3A remain relatively constant.

 

On Monday, September 10, 2001, the District applied, through the Town Council, for a Community Development Block Grant. This grant, in an amount not to exceed $200,000, would enable the District to pay for costs incurred in the MTBE clean-up effort.

 

Effective Friday, September 14, 2001, Pascoag Water Department will put into effect a ban on all outside watering. This includes, but is not limited to, watering lawns, washing cars, and filling swimming pools. Customers with any questions concerning the outside water ban can call the District office at 568-6222.

WATER DO’S AND DON’TS

What’s Not Okay

 

Drinking the water

Using water for cooking

Brushing your teeth

Using water in areas without ventilation

Drying clothes without properventilation

 

What’s Okay:

 

Bathing, as long as the room is well-ventilated, not steamy

Washing dishes, also only if the room is well-ventilated

Washing clothes (Be sure to dry them outside or in a properly vented dryer)

 

On Friday, September 7, 2001, Poland Springs and Staples Office Supply donated 1,200 cases of bottled water to Pascoag. Saturday, over 800 customers picked up their free case of water. Any customer who has not received their water, please stop by the District office during normal business hours for their free case.

 

Through generous contributions of Stop and Shop (1,300 cases expected to be delivered by September 14, 2001) and Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club ($20,000 donated for the purchase of bottled water), our residential customers should have access to free bottled water for the next several weeks. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions.

MTBE update

Tests were completed yesterday on the fourteen monitoring wells located near the District’s well fields. The results of these tests were inconclusive in determining the direction of the MTBE contamination. The test results did, however, show that the MTBE levels in the monitoring wells are well within EPA acceptable limits.

 

On Thursday and Friday, testing continued in other areas throughout the village. The results of this sampling will be available shortly. Hopefully, the results of this series of tests will enable Pascoag to determine the source of the contamination.

 

Pascoag Water Department, the Department of Health, the Department of Environmental Management, and Lincoln Environmental have been working diligently over the past several days to develop a comprehensive plan to deal with the MTBE situation

 

Short term, mid term, and long-term plans are being put into place. In the short term, the most important element is to determine the source of the contamination. This is already well underway, with the series of testings that have taken place over the past several days, and will continue throughout the weekend. In order to facilitate this, a portable lab has been set up in the District to analyze water samples from the test wells.

 

Pascoag Water Department and Harrisville Water Department are studying the feasibility of opening an interconnection valve between the two systems, allowing Harrisville to pump water into Pascoag’s distribution system. This will require a back flow protection valve to be put into place. The State of Rhode Island has committed $20,000 to this project, however, the cost of the valve is estimated at $50,000.

 

Water continues to be available at the Harrisville Fire Station. Pascoag residents are asked to bring their own containers.

 

Our web site, www.pfd.org, is updated on a regular basis, and has links to the EPA for additional information.

 

For your convenience, we have listed information on the State’s Congressional Delegation.

 

Senator Jack Reed

320 Hart Building Suite 200

Washington, DC 20510

Telephone: (202) 224-4642

201 Hillside Drive

Cranston, RI 02920

(401) 943-3100

Senator Lincoln Chafee

141 Russell Building

Washington, DC 20510

Telephone: (202) 224-2921

170 Westminster Street, Suite 1100

Providence, RI 02903

(401) 453-5294

Congressman James Langevin

300 Centerville Road

Washington, DC 20515

Telephone: (202) 225-2735

109 Cannon House Office Building Suite 200

South Warwick, RI 02886

(401) 732-9400

Congressman Patrick Kennedy

407 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Telephone: (202) 225-4911 249

Roosevelt Avenue, Suite 200

Pawtucket, RI 02860

(401) 729-5600

 

Updates on the MTBE situation will continue on a regular basis. Customers of the Pascoag Water Department can call the District office at 568-6222 with any questions, or call the Rhode Island Department of Health at 222-2231 with any health related questions.

MTBE update

Testing is scheduled to be completed today on the fourteen monitoring wells surrounding Pascoag’s well fields. The results of these tests will hopefully indicate the direction of the contamination.

 

Additionally, Pascoag is testing private wells near its wellfields to determine if any are contaminated with MTBE. Pascoag is not testing private wells in general, only a limited number surrounding its wellfields. Customers with private wells wishing to have them tested may call the RIDOH at 222-5600 for further information.

 

A portable drilling rig will be arriving in the District late today or tomorrow. It will begin a series of monitoring wells throughout the village. This testing will, again, help to determine the extent of the MTBE contamination.

 

Pascoag is also working with a private contractor to determine the viability of installing a filtration system The cost of this system will be determined over the next several days.

 

All nursing homes in the District should continue to make arrangements with private suppliers for their potable water needs. A list of companies that supply potable water is available at the District office.

 

In the event any of the District’s water customers are housebound, and cannot arrange to obtain water, District personnel will deliver water for their needs. The customers must supply the containers.

 

The District has a direct number and web site address for any physicians with questions regarding MTBE. Please have your doctor’s office call 568-6222 for additional information.

 

Daily updates will be available at the District office. Customers may stop by the District office at 253 Pascoag Main Street, or call 568-6222 during normal business hours for these updates.

For Immediate Release…

Pascoag Water Department is asking its customers not to drink the water.

Tests performed on the Pascoag Water Department’s System have shown levels of a compound called Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether, commonly referred to as MTBE.

MBTE is an additive placed in gasoline to reduce ozone and carbon monoxide levels and improve octane and combustion. Based on the limited sampling data currently available, most concentrations at which MTBE have been found in drinking water sources are unlikely to cause adverse health effects.

Pascoag Water Dept. is working closely with the State of RI, Department of Health, to locate the source of this problem. Although the EPA has not yet established a standard or maximum contaminant level for MTBE, Pascoag’s General Manager Theodore G. Garille is requesting his utility’s 1200 water customers in the Village of Pascoag, to either buy bottled water for drinking or get water from others not served by the Utility. This request will remain in effect until further notice. The water is fine for bathing and laundry but, as always, the Utility Executive stressed the need to maintain adequate ventilation during showers and while washing and drying clothes.

Customers may call 568-6222 to get in touch with a Utility District Representative.