The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 3, 2000


O'Rourke water study debated

Whether the town should appropriate an additional $20,000 for phase two of the water study on the O'Rourke Farm was debated by the selectmen on February 22. Initial tests identifying the location and extent of a potential water supply on the O'Rourke land are expected to be completed by the end of March, said Tricia Smith representing the water quality subcommittee. Phase two of the tests would concentrate on water quality.

Last year, Town Meeting appropriated $30,000 for the water study on the O'Rourke land. Under the purchase agreement with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the town has three years from the April 1999 closing date to identify a location on the land which could be used for a town water supply. The town would receive approximately $115,000 if the water supply location were identified within this time period on what has been designated an undevelopable portion of the land.

According to Steve Opolski, chair of the board of health, the $30,000 already appropriated will pay for only one day of pump tests in a location determined to be most likely to produce a significant water flow based on a geophysical study of the glacial plain. Aside from issues of water quality, additional money will be needed if the first pump test does not produce an acceptable result.

Smith also recommended doing the quality tests within the three-year period to determine the viability of the water supply. Selectman Michael Fitzgerald seemed to agree, stating, "It is better to know sooner rather than later, especially with $115,000 hanging in the balance." Selectman Vivian Chaput noted that simple water quality tests are not expensive.

What is the timeline for constructing a public water supply? "Hopefully, never," responded Opolski, "but we want to do the tests to know it's there if we need it."

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito