Tim Lippert, Norwood public works director, told The Norwood Post on Monday that the town’s new raw water system is functioning well, and that officials from the town, the Norwood Water Commission, along with customers, appear to be pleased.
“It’s doing great. It’s been quite a blessing,” he said.
The system has been professionally pressurized and tested. Lippert said only a few minor adjustments were necessary. Raw water service began on June 1, and Lippert said tap-holders at town residences report the pressure works well.
He said for the month of June, tap holders were on a three-day schedule, as customers were divided into groups and could water every third day.
While that protocol went well, Lippert said the Norwood Water Commission decided to change things up. The surplus of water, combined with cooler evening temperatures and consistent rain showers, have meant that water is still in surplus.
Now water commission members want to allow even more usage. Lippert said it’s experimenting with the system to observe and collect data.
For July, customers were notified that raw water service would operate on an even-and-odd schedule. Residences that end in an odd number are to use their raw water on odd calendar days. Residences that end in an even number should use their shares on even-numbered days.
“We’re trying to see,” Lippert said. “It’s like buying a new car. You smash down on the pedal and see what it will do. We are going to try to use a little more and see what the system will do.”
He said the system requires about three years of data, and currently the town and water commission are collecting the numbers to study. He agreed that this particular summer has been a great one to implement the system because of the excess water available.
“We haven’t run out by any means. It’s a good year to test it; it’s a lot of fun. It takes a while, like anything,” he said.
This summer, a few homeowners have inquired about purchasing a raw water tap to be a part of the system, he said.
Currently, the town’s reservoir of water is full. As of press time Tuesday, the town was still on free-flow water. According to Lippert, using free-flow water in July is quite unusual.
Free-flow water is water that doesn’t come from storage. In other words, it’s still running off the mountain, and because the reservoir is full, it goes straight to the town.
Typically, free-flow water stops in early June.
“There is more coming in than they can store,” he said. “Shareholders getting extra doesn’t count toward their storage. When there is less coming in than leaving, then it goes to storage. … We are still getting that natural flow.”
For August, Lippert said the raw water system may follow another schedule altogether. He said the climate could be hot and dry and require another method of usage. Officials will decide next month’s watering schedule at a later date.
Additionally, Lippert said raw water customers can store their shares. He explained folks have asked during Norwood Water Commission meetings and the answer is “yes.” If tap holders want to save their water in buckets or barrels, they are free to do so.