Summer Rains Help Chatham Water System, Concerns to Linger Through Fall

CHATHAM – Summer rain storms on the Cape has allowed the Chatham water system to cover demand, but that could change as summer winds down.

Public Works Director Tom Temple provided an update on the status of the town’s water system recently to selectmen.

He said pumping volumes were down 27 percent in June and 9.8 percent in July compared to last year, with a slight 2 percent increase in the beginning of August due to warm, dry weather conditions.

Temple says residents should know the town is not out of the woods yet.

“We want to make sure people are conserving if they can conserve and water one day less,” Temple said.

Temple said based on what he is being told, the fall season could be warmer than usual.

“The concerns are still there,” he said. “The message should go out to residents that we do still have the potential for issues and bacteria hits if we don’t pay attention to the ban that is still in effect.”

A comparison of water pumping volumes for the month of July during the period of 2010 through this year was presented to selectmen. The volume pumped in 2017 ranks fifth during that time period.

Construction continues on a plant designed to remove iron and magnesium. Two wells were shut down after high levels were detected and will be allowed back online after the plant is operational.

Bacteria entering the system is also a concern as wells are currently at shallow levels. Wells which test positive for bacteria would also need to be shut down, which could create a greater shortage.

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