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MassDEP Names Bellingham 1 of 45 Recipients of 2016 Public Water Systems Awards

May 27, 2016 02:00PM ● By Pamela Johnson
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) recently announced that Bellingham was one of forty-five winners of the annual Public Water Systems Awards, which are given each year to celebrate National Drinking Water Week (May 1-7). The awards were presented during a ceremony held at Devens Community Center in Devens.
MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg, who served as keynote speaker said, “We are fortunate, in Massachusetts to have 1734 public water systems that work to provide the safe and consistent supply of drinking water we all depend on when we open the tap each day,” he said. “Whether large or small, there are many worthy drinking water systems, and yet, there are some whose consistency in operations and foresight in planning for the future, are deserving of special commendation.”

MassDEP initially began issuing water systems awards in 1986 as a way to acknowledge the many dedicated professionals for their accomplishments in maintaining consistent and safe delivery of potable water to the residents of the Commonwealth.
All of the state's public water systems were nominated simply by serving as a public water system; only forty-five awards were presented statewide. Bellingham DPW Water & Sewer received a Regional Recognition award, along with the Chicopee Water Department, the Boston Water and Sewer Commission and the Seekonk Water District. In addition to the Regional Recognition, other awards included Nontransient Noncommunity System Award, Small Community System Award, Medium/Large Community System Award, Consecutive Community System Award, Consistent Performer Recognition, Source Protection Award, Energy Conservation Award, and Water Conservation Award.

National Drinking Water Week recognizes the importance of water source protection and conservation, as well as the value, importance, and fragility of the Commonwealth's water resources. MassDEP works with drinking water utilities to make sure that the water delivered to consumers meets all federal and state standards and is clean and abundant. These efforts are vital to the Massachusetts economy and to public health. For more information on drinking water in Massachusetts, visit:

The tasks facing state drinking water programs and public water systems continue to be extremely challenging, especially in an era of scarce resources. The drinking water infrastructure in many cities and towns is aging and presents daunting resource demands. The nation continues to be challenged by new and emerging drinking water contaminants associated with an industrial society.

Sponsors for this year's event include: Barnstable County Water Utilities Association; Massachusetts Rural Water Association; Massachusetts Water Works Association; Middlesex/Worcester County Water Works Association; New England Water Works Association; Plymouth County Water Works Association; RCAP Solutions; Western Mass Waterworks Association; U.S. EPA; and, MassDEP.

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.

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