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PRESS RELEASE - Downing Announces Clean Water Grant for Pittsfield
October 15, 2009

69K to Assess and Protect Water Quality at City’s Principal Water Supply
 
Boston – State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) announces today the City of Pittsfield has been awarded $69,300 in Clean Water Act Section 604(b) grant assistance from the state Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). 
 
“This investment will help the City of Pittsfield to protect its water resources and ensure their sustainable use for years to come. I am pleased the Patrick Administration saw the value of Pittsfield’s application,” said Downing.
 
This spring, MassDEP received an additional $753,606 from the federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) which was used to fund this grant round. The Department focused these federal stimulus dollars towards watershed or subwatershed based point and nonpoint source assessment-type grant projects leading municipalities, regional planning agencies and conservation districts to support watershed and sub-watershed nonpoint source planning and assessment activities. 
 
Nonpoint source pollution comes from runoff, such as rainfall or snowmelt, moving over and through the ground, picking up pollutants as it goes. Some pollutants occur naturally, such as nutrients from sediments, manure or pet wastes; others are manmade, such as fertilizers or automotive grease. Nonpoint source pollution is a major cause of water quality problems nationwide.
 
Pittsfield’s award funds a Water Quality Assessment of Windsor and Cady Brooks. The project implements recommendations of the MassDEP Surface Water Assessment Program (SWAP) Report and will assess sources of sediment to Windsor and Cady Brooks. Significant sediment deposits and the re-suspension of these materials during storm events and/or high flows may contribute to increased turbidity impacting Cleveland Reservoir, the City of Pittsfield’s principal water supply. Appropriate management measures to prevent sediment from entering the reservoir will be identified.
 
Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality.
 
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