Water Utility Overview
The mission of the Lowell Regional Water Utility is to provide a sufficient supply of safe, potable water to the citizens and businesses of the City of Lowell and surrounding communities in order to ensure their health and safety in a cost effective manner, to ensure the highest water quality and purify some 4.7 billion gallons of water to over 135,000 customers while meeting all state and federal water quality compliances. The personnel of the LRWU are DEP certified and consistently monitor daily water production, repair and maintain 215 miles of water main, 2,300 fire hydrants and approximately 26,000 water service connections.
In 2011, the LRWU purified more than 4.6 billion gallons (4,633,279,000) of drinking water delivered to approximately 135,000 residents and businesses in the communities of Lowell, Dracut, Tyngsboro, and Chelmsford.
Lead and Copper Reduction
The annual rounds of lead and copper “tap sampling” were performed for the years 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003. In all required compliance testing rounds, the 90th percentile action level for lead (0.015 mg/l) and copper (1.3 mg/l) were not exceeded. On June 24, 2003, The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) therefore approved a reduction in lead and copper monitoring frequency (50 samples) to once every three years. In 2009, the 90th percentile action level for lead and copper were not exceeded, allowing the utility to continue on the reduced monitoring frequency. The next round of lead and copper monitoring will be collected during August 2012.
The only water supply for Lowell’s Water Treatment Plant is the surface water from the Merrimack River, which has its source in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The Intake Station is situated on the riverbank north of the city and water is pumped one half mile to the treatment plant. The interconnections with the surrounding communities are to supply them with water; they cannot supply water to Lowell. A draft source water assessment program (SWAP) was completed by the Massachusetts DEP. The (SWAP) report is available at the water utility for any parties interested. For more information, contact Operations Superintendent Steven Duchesne @ (978) 970-4242.
Emergency Planning and Response
The Utility works with upstream communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire on emergency response planning. The Utility has an emergency management committee and coordinates activities with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) facility in Tewksbury.
Communication with Other Communities
The Utility maintains contact with upstream communities, including those in New Hampshire, on a variety of source protection issues.