BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration announced today that it has awarded $436,000 in grants to five small public water systems to support infrastructure projects that will improve the quality of their drinking water. The funding, awarded through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP) Small and Disadvantaged Community Grant Program, will be utilized by water systems in the communities of Belchertown, Chester, Lancaster, Monroe, and Plymouth.
“These Small and Disadvantaged Community Grant Program funds serve as a great example of the Baker-Polito Administration’s dedication to ensuring safe drinking water is provided to every household in the Commonwealth,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “The projects funded through this grant program will help mitigate the technical, operational, and financial challenges that small and disadvantaged municipalities face in providing safe, quality drinking water.”
In 2021, the Small and Disadvantaged Community Grant Program was created in order to provide grants to help public water systems in underserved, small, and disadvantaged communities meet federal Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. Small and disadvantaged systems are defined as systems that serve less than 10,000 residents and are unable to afford the remedy for health-based water quality violations in drinking water. The program is funded through MassDEP and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act’s Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities Drinking Water Grant Program.
“This important program provides critical funding to small public water systems in disadvantaged communities to help remedy health-based water quality violations in drinking water,” said Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “Improving drinking water is essential to the health and safety of our fellow residents.”
The following grants were awarded:
- Sports Haven Mobile Home Park (Belchertown) – $200,000: The project involves the installation of a water storage tank, emergency generator, and pump house (partial funding).
- Chester Water Department (Chester) – $50,000: The project involves the installation of a carbon layer in the treatment system’s filter.
- Lancaster Woods Condominiums (Lancaster) – $77,000: The project involves engineering and design for a new water storage tank and upgrades to a booster pump system.
- Monroe Water District (Monroe) – $88,000: The project involves the drilling and installation of a new well.
- Long Pond Realty (Plymouth) – $21,000: The project involves designing and permitting of new pH adjustment equipment.
“DEP’s commitment to provide small, underserved communities the resources to meet safe drinking water standards is a crucial part of broader economic development and community revitalization across the Commonwealth,” said State Senator John J. Cronin (D-Fitchburg).
“I am thrilled to see vital funds directed to boost and support water systems and supply in Lancaster. It is vital that every resident and community in the Commonwealth have access to clean and drinkable water and this funding will help further that goal in our own community,” said State Representative Meghan Kilcoyne (D-Clinton). “I look forward to continuing to support this vital work and ensure all residents have access to water.”
For more information, please visit the EPA WIIN Grant Program and MassDEP Drinking Water Program Capacity Development webpages.
MassDEP’s mission is to protect and enhance the Commonwealth’s natural resources – air, water and land – to provide for the health, safety and welfare of all people, and a clean and safe environment for future generations. In carrying out this mission, MassDEP commits to address and advance environmental justice and equity for all people of the Commonwealth, provide meaningful, inclusive opportunities for people to participate in agency decisions that affect their lives and ensure a diverse workforce that reflects the communities served by the agency.