September 20, 2020

Water source construction to begin> Completion of land purchase enables Pittsfield project to move forward

PITTSFIELD — Construction could begin in the very near future on a new water source and pipeline for the town of Pittsfield, according to Town Manager Dwight Dogherty.

Contracts for the work with Hydro Group and Brescia Construction Inc. can be completed now that the town owns the land.

The project was held up while a land purchase was negotiated with Dragon Products Inc., owner of the land on the east side of the Sebasticook River off Peltoma Avenue. The deed for the land was received early Friday, Dogherty said. The final purchase price was $100,000, double what the town originally offered but less than half the $250,000 the company originally sought for the land.

The project will provide a new, manganese-free water source for Pittsfield with a well located on the Burnham side of the Sebasticook River and a pump station across the road in Detroit. The main will include more than a mile of piping, probably to be buried under the Sebasticook River and ultimately connecting to existing lines.

Tests returned last November on the Burnham well site indicate a large volume of clear, high-quality water.

Concerns were raised several years ago when large amounts of manganese began showing up in Pittsfield water, turning dishwashers, laundry and washing machines a dingy brown. Because of the close proximity of the town’s closed landfill to the suspect pumping station, that well site was abandoned. A lengthy search for an alternate site was launched under orders of the Department of Human Services. Tests through the end of 1993, however, determined that the new source was not likely to be within the Pittsfield town limits.

The town ultimately took an option to purchase a spent gravel pit owned by Dragon Products Inc. across the Sebasticook River in Burnham, about a mile from the abandoned well.

Negotiations are continuing to bring power to the site. A proposal for the town to contract power-line installation and own its own lines was jeopardized by state law that favors power companies.

The second phase of the water improvement project will include a new or additional storage tank on Grove Hill and the installation of a larger main in the area.

Both projects total $1.5 million, to be financed through the Rural Development Association, formerly FmHA.

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