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The Town of Burlington’s drinking water system contains two separate water treatment plants drawing water from both surface and ground water sources. The Mill Pond Water Treatment Plant treats water from the Mill Pond reservoir. The Mill Pond Treatment Plant has the capacity to treat up to 2.5 million gallons of water per day. The Vine Brook Water Treatment Plant (above) treats water from four ground wells located with in the Vine Brook Aquifer. The Vine Brook Water Treatment Plant has the capacity to treat 1.5 million gallons of water per day. Both plants filter and clarify the water to remove contaminants, provide fluoridation, corrosion control and disinfections. We also currently take 1 million gallons per day from the MWRA via the connection that was established on Adams Street in December of 2020.
Cross-connections that contaminate drinking water distribution lines are a major concern. A cross-connection is formed at any point where a drinking water line connects to equipment (boilers), systems containing chemicals (air conditioning systems, fire sprinkler systems, irrigation systems), or water sources of questionable quality. Cross-connection contamination can occur when the pressure in the equipment or system is greater than the pressure inside the drinking water line (backpressure). Contamination can also occur when the pressure in the drinking water line drops due to fairly routine occurrences (main breaks, heavy water demand), causing contaminants to be sucked out from the equipment and into the drinking water line (backsiphonage).
Outside water taps and garden hoses tend to be the most common sources of cross-connection contamination at home. The garden hose creates a hazard when submerged in a swimming pool or when attached to a chemical sprayer for weed killing. Garden hoses that are left lying on the ground may be contaminated by fertilizers, cesspools, or garden chemicals. Improperly installed valves in your toilet could also be a source of cross-connection contamination. Community water supplies are continuously jeopardized by cross-connections unless appropriate valves, known as backflow prevention devices, are installed and maintained. We have surveyed industrial, commercial, and institutional facilities in the service area to make sure that potential cross-connections are identified and eliminated or protected by a backflow preventer. We also inspect and test backflow preventers to make sure that they provide maximum protection.
For more information on backflow prevention, contact the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.