Friday, May 4, 2007
ConsCom asked to okay test wells at Coventry Woods
With spring downpours hopefully behind them, Coventry Woods engineers returned to the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) on April 26 for permission to proceed with the drilling of five test wells on the Concord Street property. This phase of the proposed 48-unit, 40B project was happening downstairs in the Clark Room at the Town Hall, while the engineers' employers were upstairs meeting with the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), which ended up approving a diminished 30-unit project. (See "ZBA grants permit for Coventry Woods 40B," page 1)
The well drilling operations will be carried out according to a set of plans and conditions approved by the commission last year but postponed, owing to winter and early spring weather conditions. Stamski and McNary engineer Rich Harrington told the commission he felt the site had dried enough to permit tree removal; grading and other site work would follow as soon as the water level dropped sufficiently. The actual drilling could then proceed. Photographs of the 50-foot access road showed appropriate siltation barriers in place and a number of trees well-wrapped for protection during the clearing operations.
Commission Administrator Sylvia Willard agreed that the area was getting drier, but pointed out that a portion of the drill site was still underwater. Harrington assured her she would be consulted before grading or other heavy site work was undertaken.
Noting the degree of slope at the site — a drop of eight to ten feet, Chairman Roy Watson was uneasy about the disposition of the slurry, which is the muddy material pumped out of the ground. Well specialist David Provencher answered that, if necessary, the drill team could use a so-called "mud sucker" to slurp it up and pipe it to an area where it could dry out. Still dubious, Watson feared that, under rainy conditions, the team might lose control and find the material running down into the nearby wetland.
At Commissioner Tom Schultz's suggestion, Provencher agreed that the commission should meet with the well driller once he was ready to proceed. At that point, it would be clear whether or not the mud disposal equipment would be necessary and, if so, whether the chosen collection area was adequate.
© 2007 The