Purpose & Actions
Purpose & Actions
The LRWU is continuing its focus on improving water service to the consumer population it serves. Recently completed projects and new projects currently underway will further improve the quality, pressure and reliability of the water we deliver to consumers.
We are also continuing to improve the overall efficiency of the water treatment plant and pumping operations. These projects include improvements to the distribution system, pumping stations and water treatment plant, including the installation of a 610 kilowatt photovoltaic system, upgrades to the water meters and meter reading system.
The Cross Connection Control Program is also being improved. These projects will ensure that the high water quality produced at the treatment plant is reliably delivered to consumers for many years to come.
The City of Lowell continues to provide residents with the highest water quality at one of the lowest rates ($2.076 / HCF) in the Commonwealth, of 273 communities and water systems, Lowell ranks twelfth for the lowest rates in the state.
Lead and Copper Reduction
The annual rounds of lead and copper “tap sampling” were performed for the years 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003. In all required compliance testing rounds, the 90th percentile action level for lead (0.015 milligrams per liter) and copper (1.3 milligrams per liter) were not exceeded. On June 24, 2003, The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) therefore approved a reduction in lead and copper monitoring frequency (50 samples) to once every three years. In 2009, the 90th percentile action level for lead and copper were not exceeded, allowing the utility to continue on the reduced monitoring frequency. The next round of lead and copper monitoring will be collected during August 2012.
The only water supply for Lowell’s Water Treatment Plant is the surface water from the Merrimack River, which has its source in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The Intake Station is situated on the riverbank north of the city and water is pumped one half mile to the treatment plant. The interconnections with the surrounding communities are to supply them with water; they cannot supply water to Lowell. A draft source water assessment program (SWAP) was completed by the Massachusetts DEP. The (SWAP) report is available at the water utility for any parties interested. For more information, contact Operations Superintendent Steven Duchesne at 978-970-4242.
Emergency Planning & Response
The Utility works with upstream communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire on emergency response planning. The Utility has an emergency management committee and coordinates activities with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) facility in Tewksbury.
Communication with Other Communities
The Utility maintains contact with upstream communities, including those in New Hampshire, on a variety of source protection issues.
Water Meter Replacement Program
The LRWU is in the process of replacing the existing water meter reading system with an automated reading system. The City has awarded the project to USI Services, Inc., (USI). USI will install a new water meter and a remote reading device at every existing water meter location within the City. The new meter configuration will allow meters to be read without accessing customers' homes or entering private property.
USI will contact residents and businesses on behalf of the LRWU to schedule appointments for meter replacements. Customers will receive initial notification by mail of the replacement with instructions for setting appointments.
This meter change out is mandatory and customer cooperation is greatly appreciated.