News & Events

Townsend Breaks Ground on PFAS Treatment Plant

Left to Right: Project Engineer Mary Danielson, President & CEO Bob Belitz, Vice President Tom Mahanna and Senior Project Manager Louis Soracco gather for the groundbreaking in Townsend, MA.

The Townsend Water Department broke ground on a new PFAS water treatment plant (WTP) this week. Tighe & Bond and other project partners participated in the groundbreaking ceremony that kicks off the new project.

In 2021, the Water Department decided to construct the new plant after PFAS levels at the Harbor Trace Pump Station (their largest source of drinking water) were found to be exceeding the Maximum Contaminant Level. The pump station has been taken offline for the time being. The nearby Witch’s Brook Well site is not above the Massachusetts MCL but will also be treated by the new WTP at the Harbor Trace site to consolidate treatment systems.

To address these issues, Tighe & Bond designed the new 2 million gallons per day WTP, and it is being constructed at the existing Harbor Trace site to treat both Harbor Trace and Witch’s Brook water to comply with the existing Massachusetts MCL and emerging EPA MCL for PFAS concentrations.

Raw water from Witch’s Brook will be directed to the new PFAS WTP via a new raw water transmission main which is currently under construction. Also included in the design was a new water main extension on South Row Road and Emery Road to loop the system, minimizing dead ends and improving water age, quality, and most importantly the resiliency of the distribution system. The looping water main provides a redundant connection to the entire distribution system in the event the sole connection was to fail.

The WTP includes granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration for PFAS removal, sodium hypochlorite for disinfection, and sodium hydroxide for ph adjustment and corrosion control. In addition, the WTP incorporates office space to relocate the Water Department staff, additional indoor parking for Water Department equipment and service vehicles, and a large meeting space to benefit the Town and other regional waterworks organizations.

Tighe & Bond also addressed permitting for the project submitting an Environmental Notification Form (ENF) with MEPA, a Notice of Intent with the Conservation Commission, a Planning Board Stormwater Permit, coordinated with the NHESP on the development of a turtle protection plan, and a MassDEP technical permit.