DPW director introduces boil water order and waste ban | New


WILMINGTON — The Select Committee invited DPW Director Jamie Magaldi and Deputy Director Joe Lobao to present the DEP’s boil water order and waste ban for their Monday night meeting. Magaldi shared the pride of the city’s response which he would go on to sum up.

In general, he explained that the quality and testing of the city’s drinking water is heavily regulated and governed by the Environmental Protection Act and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. He also shared that Wilmington takes 33 samples per month from specified locations and has specific actions to take when contaminants are found.

It was Tuesday, September 6, when the routine sample was taken from the Hillside Way Tank. The sample result came back on September 7th with a positive result for total coliforms but negative for E.Coli. Total coliforms, Magaldi said, are naturally occurring and not always an indicator of E.Coli, although E.Coli is a subset. On the same day, they reported to MassDEP and resampled the reservoir at their request.

On September 8, the resample result from the tank came back positive for E.Coli and total coliforms. From there, the city struggled to provide a precautionary boil water advisory, as they could not provide the official notice until they received the same in writing from MassDEP. This involved social media, the DPW website, the city’s website, a reverse 911 call, WCTV and Wilmington Apple.

The Department of Health has also begun notifying restaurants, health care facilities and nursing homes. They isolated the Hillside Way Reservoir from the water system at that time and resampled the reservoir again. Magaldi described that MWRA participated in a conference call with the DPW and MassDEP that day and sent a drone to inspect the tank.

The control came out clean. MassDEP’s written order arrived that afternoon, after which the city reissued information about the official boil order.

The school department ended up canceling school on the 9th and ordered things like bottled water in case the boil order continued the following week. In the result that came back on September 9, the system tested negative for both while the tank still tested positive for total coliforms. On the 10th the Hillside system and tank tested negative so the DEP order was lifted. The tank remains in isolation but tested positive for TC again on Sunday.

Lobao mentioned that their next steps are to bring in a vendor on Wednesday for inspection and potential disinfection, followed by further testing and hopefully favorable results from the tank.

Board Chair Judy O’Connell thanked all departments involved in the city’s response for answering questions, alerting residents and resolving the issue. She also asked Magaldi and Lobao about flushing out resident systems and the public availability of test results.

Magaldi replied that they hadn’t told everyone to flush their systems due to concerns about massive flushing, but the contaminated water would have left the systems within two days of the test. He also said information about the results would be included in their annual water quality report, or residents with questions could call and speak to him directly.

O’Connell also wondered if the summer weather could have been linked to this test. Lobao responded by saying that seemed like a common denominator.

The rest of the board members also thanked Magaldi and Lobao for their presentation. Magaldi noted that they still had a lot of work to do, but they had all the money and resources they needed.

Magaldi then provided an overview of DEP’s trash ban update for November 1 and how it will affect Wilmington residents and schools.

“Mass DEP’s Solid Waste Master Plan has established a short-term goal of reducing statewide disposal by 30 percent over the next decade,” he said.

After that, MassDEP plans to reduce disposal by 95% by 2050. This fall, DEP lowers commercial organic/food waste threshold, prohibits disposal or transportation of textiles, and prohibits disposal and transportation mattresses.

He showed the city’s eight schools and their average organic/food waste, which will have to be limited to half a ton per week. However, schools already respect this number. If they generate more than half a ton of food waste, the school would need a specific organic/food waste dumpster on site.

He warned that this threshold will likely be lowered further in the future. As for the affected private companies in the city, he said they will have to work with private waste haulers.

To reduce textile disposal, Wilmington schools all have at least one textile bin for donating items such as clothing and shoes, operated by Bay State Textiles. Magaldi mentioned that these bring about $100 per ton of textile to the school system, generating $38,000 last year and removing 380 tons of textiles.

He did not anticipate any changes to the ban on transporting and disposing of textiles, but encouraged donating lightly worn clothing and searching the DPW website for items that residents don’t need. don’t know how to get rid of.

Regarding mattresses, the city would have a slight change in this area from the current process where Casella collects and brings mattresses and box springs to be cremated. He referred to the fact that Wilmington gets rid of about 20 mattresses a week. To help with the ban, he proposed that the city hold a special residents collection with Casella for about $33,000 a year and a $10 fee to be charged by the city to the resident.

Gary DePalma pointed out that the mattress collection would likely cost more money after this year, which Magaldi agreed with.

Council approved the request for a mattress pick-up agreement.


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