MWRA

Why Connect to the MWRA?

To Develop A More Robust Water System
  • Ashland's water demand is generally consistent from month to month but has grown with the Town. Our current water source does not provide water consistently when the Town wants it.
  • A permanent MWRA connection was proposed for emergency purposes in the fall of 2013. Since that time we have had to make a second emergency connection to the MWRA (the first was in 2007) and the most recent was during the drought in 2016. In addition Hopkinton has requested to draw more water from our shared water treatment plant.
  • As part of the 2007 emergency connection approval, a long term plan to remedy supply deficiencies was required by the Department of Environmental Protection. It was completed in 2012, reviewed all potential well sites in the town, and came to the following conclusions:
    • Improvements to the current water treatment plant. Variable flow drives should be (and were) installed on the wells but no additional water is available.
    • Spring Street site. This supply is partially developed but has no access, has some contamination, and has significant impacts on the Ashland reservoir. 2013 cost: $3.97 million.
    • Shore Road site. This was the town’s water supply but there are water quality concerns, wetland
    • impacts, and capacity issues. 2013 cost: $6.3 million.
    • Direct connection to MWRA. There are few limitations on water supply but the cost to reach the MWRA line is high. 2013 cost: $7.76 million.
    • Indirect connection to MWRA (via Southborough). This takes advantage of the abundant MWRA supply but without the cost of a direct connection. 2016 cost: $2.3 million for construction and $900,000 for a license (entrance cost) to purchase up to 73 MG a year(200,000 gallons per day).
  • MWRA provides an abundant source of water that doesn’t strain our water basin.
  • Water can be purchased on an as-needed basis. If there is no need, there is no cost.
  • Currently, the Town can take advantage of grants, legislation, developer funds, and partnering with Hopkinton to reduce the cost of the MWRA connection construction costs from considerably. As of the 75% design stage, the estimated construction costs add up to $2.3 million. MWRA allows the entrance cost to be spread over 25 years at no interest (though there is a proposal to cancel this program).

  For the benefit of the Town of Ashland Residents, a Water Policy Committee was established in 
the late Summer of 2015. The objective of this committee is to provide a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen related to water policy for use of public water in Ashland.
 For more details and their upcoming meetings go to http://www.ashlandmass.com 

Frequently Asked Questions

For a list of questions from the Water Policy Commission Public meetings, along with answers from October 2015 to February 2016, please click here.