DPW Press Release regarding Water Ban
Posted on 06/10/2020
DPW Press Release

For Immediate Release - June 10, 2020

RE: Water Ban and Information for the Future of Foxborough Water
In lieu of the recent water ban, (and because my kids are just as frustrated as yours that they can’t play in a sprinkler on a hot day) I feel compelled to share the future of the water system for Foxborough. These plans include improvements that will resolve supply issues, complying with requirements on water usage from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and consistently providing important information about your water system. 

Well & Water information
The Town of Foxborough has fourteen wells in five locations.  There are Four wells on Lamson Rd, Two wells at Witch Pond, Three wells on Sprague Rd, One on Route 1, and Four more brand new wells on Pumping Station Rd.   

The Four new wells on Pumping Station Road, as part of the new treatment plant and are permitted by Mass DEP to pump a total of 951 gallons per minute (gpm). The pumps will be capable of pumping 1650 gpm, which can be utilized on max usage days.  The other, older wells used to pump 500 gpm are only able to pump 200 gpm and some have deteriorated to the point where they produce no water, which is natural for infrastructure as it ages. There are currently seven active wells with the capacity of 2.3 Million Gallons per Day (MGD). The four new wells at Pumping Station Road will be able to pump 2 MGD.  

Simultaneously, we are working on other replacement wells that will be capable of pumping more than we are permitted by the state.  The new treatment plant at Pumping Station Road will be ready to deliver water into the system this summer. We anticipate the three replacement wells at Lamson Rd being online in early 2021.  New technology along with annual operation and maintenance (O&M) on all the new wells will prevent the loss of life we are currently experiencing. 

Mass DEP Conditions and Restrictions
With our fourteen wells, Foxborough is permitted by Mass DEP to pump 3.16 MGD. These permits come with conditions and restrictions.  The typical impact to residents is the two day per week water restriction.  At times when the system is stressed, it requires tighter restrictions, including full bans.  

During late fall, winter, and early spring we average 1.7 MGD. On max days in the recent summers we have peaked at 3.1 MGD.  Prior to the full ban the town was using 2.4-2.5 MGD. This is more than the 2.3 MGD our active wells are able to pump into the system currently, but still less than what we will be able to support when the four new wells on Pumping Station Rd are active. 

The Hill Street water tank holds three million gallon.  This tank allows adequate pressure for the entire system, as well as additional capacity on the max days.  With the water main break three weeks ago and loss of one million gallons from this reserve, the system has been stressed and not able to produce the usual 2.4 MGD that residents have been using which is why the full water ban went into effect.

Since the full outdoor ban has been in place, we have been able to add water into the Hill Street tank on a nightly basis. We are getting close to being full, which will allow residents to get back to the regular two day per week water schedule. Thank you for your continued cooperation and please continue your effort to conserve water for the benefit of the entire Foxborough community.  

Chris Gallagher, DPW Director

Q&A 

Can I water my vegetable garden during a restriction or ban?  Yes, food production is an allowed outdoor water use during both a restriction and a ban. 

Why does Foxborough have Water Restrictions every year?  Foxborough is required, like most towns in Massachusetts, by Mass DEP through our Water Management Act Permit, to have outdoor water restrictions every year.  These outdoor restrictions have been in place for over a decade and due to their success in aiding water conservation throughout the aquifer they are here to stay (are not going away.) 

Does Foxborough sell water out of town?  The Shaw’s and former Rite Aid building in Sharon is the only customer of the Foxborough water System. At the time the Shaw’s plaza was constructed there was no access to a Sharon water main. Foxborough and Sharon entered into an inter-municipal agreement for Foxborough to supply this property with water. 

Does Foxborough have water sold to us from outside towns?
Multiple properties on East Belcher Road and Spring Street are customers of Mansfield Water, due to a lack of a Foxborough Water main. 

If all residents abide by the full temporary outdoor ban, when will the system recover?   This is a difficult question to answer, however; if we had reverted back to a daily use average of 1.7 MGD, we should have been able to refill the Hill St tank a matter of days.  If usage was reduced to 2 MGD, then the system should be able to recharge the million gallons to the Hill St tank in 4 to 5 days.  We have been able to add approximately 50,000 gallons per day into the Hill St tank. At this rate we should reach a full point in the tank three weeks from the implementation of the ban.
The process to refill the lost water from the main break has taken longer than hoped. We are two weeks from the start of the Full Ban, and need more time to get our reserve back to full capacity. 

The Town of Foxborough, similar to most communities in the commonwealth of Massachusetts have water infrastructure that is past its useful life.  We in the DPW, with support and directive from the Board of Water and Sewer Commission are dedicated to continuing the improvement of this system.  This requires residents abide by the restrictions when they are in place and also support the ongoing effort to replace the infrastructure that has been in the ground for 50-75 years and in some cases over 100 years.