Chief of Police
2 Mudge Way
Bedford, MA 01730
BEDFORD FIRE DEPARTMENT
David Grunes, Fire Chief
55 Great Road
Bedford, MA 01730
For Immediate Release
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Update on Bedford Public Water Supply and Waterways
Clean Harbors Work Continues
Residents May Notice Residual Firefighting Foam in Shawsheen River During Rainfall
Public Water Supply, from MWRA, Remains Completely Safe
Bedford Town Manager Richard T. Reed, Police Chief Robert Bongiorno, Fire Chief David Grunes, and Director of Public Works Roy Sorenson are providing an update to members of the public regarding the state of the town water supply and town waterways.
The Bedford Fire Department put oil and fuel absorbing booms in the Shawsheen River less than one hour after tragic plane crash, and the Shawsheen Wellfield was shut down immediate after the crash. Those two actions were instrumental in preventing any widespread contamination.
Norwell-based Clean Harbors was brought in by the Massachusetts Port Authority ust hours later and began to evaluate the Shawsheen River. Clean Harbors put two pump trucks at different spots along the river to help with cleanup and testing of the water. The company, working with Bedford Fire and Bedford Public Works, placed additional, larger booms in the water to soak up any other contaminants.
“At this time, we are confident that the effects of the crash on the Shawsheen River are not significant and will not impact the health of the river,” Public Works Director Sorenson said. “While there is much work left to do, we are confident in our quick actions after the crash, and we are very grateful to Clean Harbors for the work that they do.”
As the crashed plane is being removed by federal authorities, the town believes that the threat of any further pollutants or contamination to the River or groudwater has been mitigated.
The Shawsheen Wellfield will remain offline until the airplane removal and area cleanup are complete and tests verify that safe drinking water levels are present.
However, it appears that the prevention measures put in place have worked, and effectively prevented fuel and pollutants from reaching the wellfield.
The vast majority of the town’s water supply comes from the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority system, and it was not affected by the crash. The water in Bedford has remained safe to drink, cook with, and bathe in.
The Bedford Department of Public Works and Board of Health continue to closely monitor the situation, coordinating with the State Department of Environmental Protection and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency.
In the event of continued rain over the next few days, in the areas of turbulent water along the Shawsheen River, there may be indications of residual firefighting foam. The foam rapidly dissipates as it flows downstream, and should be fully dissipated in a few days.
“On behalf of the entire town, I want to thank our town agencies, state and federal partners, and Clean Harbors for their diligent work in dealing with this terrible tragedy and its aftermath,” Town Manager Reed said. “The residents of Bedford should rest easy knowing that their public safety officials are well-prepared for crisis and disaster. At the same time, we continue to keep the families of the victims of Saturday’s plane crash in our thoughts and prayers.”