When Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection issued an Emergency Regulation for perchlorate in drinking water at lower levels than had ever been required nationwide, CEI responded immediately to assist clients who found it in their supplies. One of those clients was the Town of Westford, who have a mixture of public and private wells that contained perchlorate at levels unacceptable to MA DEP.

CEI’s first step was to identify the source of the perchlorate and determine how far it had spread. Perchlorate is commonly used as an accelerant in munitions, blasting and manufacturing. The source was identified as a site where extensive construction blasting had occurred and the perchlorate, which is heavier than water, had sunk down to the base of the town’s main aquifer. Working through the Town and Massachusetts DEP, CEI quickly implemented a bottled water supply program for the residents with contaminated wells and provided extensive public presentations and interaction to address public health concerns. After that, CEI installed an emergency waterline to supply public water to residence in the source area plume.

Using a turn-key design/build process, CEI then installed a resin-based 75 gpm Source Area Treatment System and installed emergency treatment at one of the Town’s Water Supply Wells operating at 250 gpm. CEI also developed Contract Document and Bid Specifications to expand well capacity and provide treatment of the Town’s two wells operating at 1,200 gpm. 

CEI’s quick response allowed the town to continue providing safe water to residents while minimizing costs and tapping stimulus funds.  Based upon discussions with DEP, funding for this project will be procured under the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program, under an “emergency set-aside.”  The overall design, bidding and installation of this water main extension was fast-tracked, in fact it was completed 2 months, so that the necessary local approvals could be obtained at the Special Town Meeting, with construction contract award and water main installation immediately following.