Hadley lands $70K grant to examine drinking water supply


Staff Writer
Published: 1/14/2022 10:58:06 AM
Modified: 1/14/2022 10:57:14 AM

HADLEY — An existing municipal water supply could become a backup drinking water source for both Hadley and Amherst through the support of a nearly $70,000 Department of Environmental Protection grant.

Hadley is one of 13 communities, and the only one in western Massachusetts, sharing $420,000 from the Water Management Act Grant Program, a coordinated effort by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and MassDEP to maintain healthy rivers and streams, and improve degraded water resources.

Hadley Town Administrator Carolyn Brennan said the $69,950 grant, to be used for an alternative source study for the rehabilitation of the wells on Mount Warner, is a product of ongoing strategic and collaborative discussions with Amherst officials about enhancing and increasing efficiency for each community.

The two tanks on Mount Warner hold, respectively, 1 million gallons and 200,000 gallons of water, and have been the backup water supply for Hadley since the treatment plant for the Callahan wells on Bay Road opened in 2004.

The application for the grant states that the existing Mount Warner tanks could become a “reliable, safe and redundant regional backup water supply for the towns of Hadley and Amherst.” With the money in hand, Hadley will be able to determine how much water can be supplied, the cost of treatment and how it is delivered to Amherst through an interconnection, as well as other future steps, including the possibility of sending wastewater from Hadley to Amherst’s treatment plant, built as a regional facility in the 1970s. 

Hadley and Amherst officials in spring 2020 signed memorandums of understanding related to possible shared services for both water and wastewater that are in effect through Dec. 31, 2023.

State Rep. Daniel Carey. D-Easthampton, said in a statement that he is excited for how the grant money will be used. “I’m proud we are combining state dollars with local efforts in the community to maintain our healthy water resources,” Carey said.

There is a need to conserve and protect water resources, as the effects of climate change are impacting the environment, Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement.

“These grants will help our local partners to implement projects that will protect water quality, mitigate the impacts of water withdrawal, and better prepare for Massachusetts’ future needs,” Baker said.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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