Skip to content





By Paul Rafuse

Water Superintendent

TOWNSEND — The following is the conclusion of the Townsend Water Department report found in the 2009 Town Report, released this spring:

Water Quality

All state and federal required water quality testing for approximately 100 regulated and unregulated contaminants was performed. Samples taken for analysis include: nitrate, percolate, secondary contaminants, synthetic organic compounds, volatile organic compounds, sodium, radium and monthly bacteriological analysis. We are happy to report that water quality for residents and businesses of Townsend continues to meet or exceed all state and federal requirements.

In late September, early October, we unfortunately experienced a water quality “Boil Water Order” emergency because of the detection of small amount of E.coli at one location. The main cause was due to a major water main break on Meadow Road. The break was on a 12-inch main that was installed through a swampy wetland section on Meadow Road. We estimated a loss of approximately 3 million gallons. Water Department personnel worked diligently for several days to resolve the problem as quickly as possible while complying with all the regulatory requirements enforced by the state as quickly as possible while complying with all the regulatory requirements enforced by the state Department of Environmental Protection. Both storage tanks were disinfected with chlorine and released into the system. Chlorine disinfection was set up at Main Street and Cross Street Pumping stations. Hydrants were flushed daily at key points and on the outlying parts of the distribution system. Daily sampling was performed to monitor water quality needing two consecutive rounds of clean samples before the “Boil Water Order” could be lifted. First and foremost, I would like to thank our customers the water takers for their patience and understanding. I would also like to thank the Fire/EMS Department, the Board of Health agent Carla Walter, Town Administrator, Greg Barnes, the Police Department, Matt Walsh, Chief Operator from the Pepperell Water Division, Fran McNamara and Josh Chapman of the Lunenburg Water District for their efforts and assistance.


Seminars and classes were attended to further education in the water industry and to stay current with changing regulations, up to date technology, new products and to accrue mandated total contact hours in order to retain state and federal required operator’s licenses for distribution and treatment. Water Department’s are strictly monitored by the state and subject to random audits to assure that employees possess the required licenses and total contact hours. I would like to recognize and congratulate Jim Blanchard in passing his T1 exam for treatment. Jim also received an upgrade in his D1 license from operator-in-training to full operator.


As superintendent, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank all the employees of the Water Department, Mike MacEachern, Jim Blanchard, Jean Dinon and Brenda Boodreau for their diligence and hard work. It takes a combined effort to continue to maintain and provide safe high quality drinking water to the residents and businesses of Townsend.

Maintenance and operating reports of the Water Department are available at the office at 540 Main St., West Townsend. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Board of Water Commissioners meets the second Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. Please feel free to attend and participate in these meetings.

Respectfully submitted by,

Paul L. Rafuse,


Board of Water


Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.