Water Department News & Announcements

June 2021:

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Press Release: Nuisance Algae Detected In Quabbin Reservoir 

Taken from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Website (link below): Starting on June 7th, MWRA staff observed an increase in algae activity in Quabbin Reservoir based on measurements from the water quality monitoring buoy (first deployed last year), which performs measurements of water quality throughout the depth of the reservoir 4 times per day. These measurements allow for an assessment of the algae concentrations, by measurement of chlorophyll a and other parameters.  The bloom is being monitored by Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and MWRA staff. Staff are collecting samples in the reservoir, performing microscopic analyses, and identifying and counting the algae concentrations.  While the presence of low levels of algae (naturally occurring microscopic plants) is a sign of a healthy reservoir, this particular bloom consists of Chrysosphaerella algae, which may impart a metallic taste to tap water. This is the same algae that was found in 2019 that caused metallic taste complaints across Chicopee Valley Aqueduct communities.  In addition to the in-reservoir monitoring, water quality is monitored continuously with on-line analyzers immediately before and after treatment at the Brutsch Water Treatment Facility, as well as further downstream.  MWRA is communicating with each of the Chicopee Valley Aqueduct communities routinely.

While this algae bloom presents a nuisance taste and odor condition, the water remains safe to drink. Chilling water in the refrigerator and/or adding lemon is the easiest way to improve the taste.

More information about Quabbin Reservoir and water quality is available at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s website.


August 2020:

Fall Hydrant Flushing to Begin 8/16 and End 10/29

The City of Chicopee Water Department will be conducting their fall hydrant flushing program. Hydrant Flushing will occur between 8pm-12am Sunday through Thursday. The start date is Sunday August 16th, 2020. This program is in place to ensure customers continue to receive the highest quality water. Hydrant flushing will last until October 30, 2020, and is starting in West Fairview and is to be completed in Willimansett.

 During this time, customers may notice episodes of decreased water pressure or discoloration of their water. Water discoloration results from temporary disturbances of the normal water flow within our piping network. These short-term changes in flow can stir up naturally occurring minerals and sediment that settle within the water mains. The objective of the water main/hydrant flushing program is to remove these accumulated sediments from our pipes by flushing the water out of the fire hydrants.

 If you experience discolored water after your street has been flushed you are encouraged to run your cold water through a faucet (bathtubs being the best choice) for 5-10 minutes or until water clears up. Do not use hot water as the dirty water can enter your hot water heater and possibly damage it. Do not run your laundry machine when you have dirty water, as this can discolor your clothing.

 If your water does not clear up after several minutes, please call the Chicopee Water Department during regular business hours at 413-594-3420.


June 2020:

The 2019 MWRA Annual Water Report Published

Learn more about your drinking water by reading the newly released 2019 MWRA Annual Drinking Water Quality Report.


March 17, 2020: No COVID-19 In Drinking Water/Limiting Personnel in Residential Homes.

The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Please see what the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has to say regarding drinking water and the COVID-19 virus here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html.

The City of Chicopee Water Department’s top priority is to deliver a continuous dependable supply of clean drinking water to the general population of Chicopee. Personnel are implementing these precautions to avoid becoming sick and spreading any disease:

  1. Water department offices are closed to the public but still operational. Please call the water department at (413-594-3420 ext. 6) as an alternative for visiting the building.
  2. Meter readers will not be entering any residential homes until further notice.
  3. Water department employees will only enter buildings for emergencies only.

As always, please report any possible leaks between the hours of 7am-5pm to (413-594-3420 ext. 6) after hours report leaks to 911.

Don’t forget to wash your hands.


February 24, 2020: PFAS Information for Chicopee Residents

You may have read recent news accounts about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (together abbreviated as PFAS). These are a class of human-made chemicals typically associated with manufacturing of non-stick coatings, and water proofing and stain proofing treatments. They have also been associated with certain fire-fighting foams. 

PFAS are currently not a concern for MWRA (Massachusetts Water Resources Authority).The City of Chicopee’s drinking water is supplied from MWRA who operates Quabbin Reservoir. None of the compounds tested for were above the reporting limits, but using DEP’s proposed methods for summing the 6 PFAS that DEP is considering regulating, Chicopee Valley Aqueduct finished water saw a sum of 1 ppt (Part Per Trillion).  Compare that with DEP’s proposed standard of 20 ppt. 

MA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is working on a PFAS regulation, and recently had a public meeting where various stakeholders presented their positions.  PFAS will likely continue to be in the news while DEP works on a final regulation. 

MWRA has placed a consumer notice on their website: http://www.mwra.com/watertesting/pfas/about.html which may have helpful answers to any inquiries you may have regarding your local drinking water. Below are the test results performed for the Chicopee Valley Aqueduct system: http://www.mwra.com/watertesting/pfas/results/2019-08-PFAS.pdf

MWRA’s reservoirs, the Quabbin and Wachusett, are very well protected, and mostly surrounded by conservation land.  

 For more information on PFAS from DEP including fact sheets for consumers, please go to https://www.mass.gov/service-details/per-and-polyfluoroalkyl-substances-pfas-in-drinking-water.


October 3, 2019: Reporting Taste or Odor Issues

If you are having any issues with taste or odor in your drinking water, please contact the Chicopee Water Treatment Plant at: 413-594-1870 so we can report any issues to MWRA. For further information on MWRA, please follow the link here: http://www.mwra.com/