Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The DPW on Water

Northampton Water:
Where Does it Come From,
and Where Does it Go?

Ned Huntley, Head of the Department of Public Works for the City of Northampton, and Dave Sparks, head of the Water Division of the the DPW, answer lots of questions about water filtration ("making water" in the parlance of the profession), delivery, wastewater treatment, and drainage. Why did Northampton have to build a $28 million water filtration plant? How does this plant, which is capable of delivering 6.5 millions of gallons a day, work? Do we have enough water to meet our future needs? How do we protect our supply? Are the delivery pipes in good condition? Is the plant run by City employees, or are we outsourcing its operation?

Is stormwater--a notorious non-point source of pollution to environmental planners--adequately monitored and managed? And wastewater--how exactly is sewerage treated? Does it get dumped into the Connecticut? How clean is it at that point? What do we do with the sludge? Is the entire water delivery and disposal system energy-intensive?

Oh...both Ned Huntley and I want that job where you get to drive around in an orange DPW truck and patrol watershed land in Williamsburg. Too bad; I'll bet he's a bit more qualified than I am.

Watch as a slide show/video, or download the mp3 using the direct link:


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