Marblehead Water for the win

Water and Sewer receiving their award from the MassDEP Photo by Amy McHugh

The town’s reputation for clean and flavorful drinking water has some hardware to validate it.

On May 11, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) held an award ceremony celebrating outstanding performance and achievement by public water systems.

Water and Sewer Superintendent Amy McHugh and Assistant Superintendent Bethany Spangler were in attendance to receive a commendation for long-term water compliance on behalf of the Water Department. In a press release sent by McHugh, MassDEP explained the criteria that must be reached for a community to earn the award.

“For more than 36 years, during National Drinking Water Week in May, MassDEP has recognized and awarded certain exemplary systems that have reached meritorious service for their work during the previous calendar year,” the release said.

The town purchases its water supply through the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Once in Marblehead’s hands, it is up to the town to keep its water clean and accessible through its infrastructure.

All MWRA communities are in the running for awards and about 10 percent of them receive recognition for outstanding water care.

One noteworthy exception for Marblehead is their efforts to achieve a great water quality dates back further than just one year. The town’s award recognizes five consecutive years of high quality. McHugh talked about the work that went into maintaining the standard for long enough to put her department in a position to win this award.

“We’ve been five years in compliance. We were ahead of compliance for the last year and it just shows the dedication of this staff,” said McHugh. “People turn on their tap and flush their toilet and it works, and that means I’m doing my job.”