Thursday, March 17, 2016

Drink The Water

DPW is regrading the old landfill to improve drainage

The Water Supply Protection Committee met this morning and unanimously supported a statement/memo to DPW Chief Guilford Mooring declaring Amherst water is safe to drink despite rumblings from neighbors of the old landfill who hired a private environmental firm -- Roux Associates -- to provide ammunition in their war to prevent a municipal solar project.

 Water Supply Protection Committee
Concerned neighbors

The town recently signed an agreement with SunEdison for a 2.8 megawatt solar array on that wide open parcel and neighbors fear it will increase the probability of the landfill cap failing and creating an environmental disaster.

Plus it will make it harder for dog walking.


Anonymous said...

The work of the WSPC is appreciated!

- A former SB member

Dr. Ed said...

The dog-walkers may have a point -- has there been an engineering study as to what kind of foundation solar panels need, sheer forces and such? There wasn't one when UMass Boston was built on the old city dump and there should have been -- and in Amherst, T-6 is leaning, leaning, leaning....

IF there is such a study, let's post it.

Some of us can sorta understand such stuff and "check the math" -- and the nice thing about the rabid dog-walkers (as opposed to the walkers of rabid dogs) is that you sorta know they're gonna get their own engineer to review any published report.

It largely comes down to building code and the assumptions upon which it is based, and then what you need for a foundation based on that.

Larry, what do these panels weigh -- with a couple feet of snow on them? How much lift does a hurricane-force wind give? That then relates to the number of legs holding them up and the foundations for those, at which point a competent engineer can say that the cap will or won't hold them and why.

When (not "if") we get a hurricane like 1938, or Carol & Edna in the 1950's, I think a lot of these solar panels are going to be flying off roofs, possibly taking the roofs with them. Anyone remember MBTE, which seemed like a really good thing to put into gasoline, until...

And Larry, why are people being allowed to walk on the old landfills? All the issues regarding shear, compression and the rest apply to human feet as well. There is quite a bit of concentrated weight & force there -- personally, I think the dogwalkers are more likely to damage the caps than the solar panels...

Anonymous said...

The town should promptly fix the landfill's broken test well pipes, which were sheared off when the DPW clipped them with a mower. They are now just conduits for rain water to subvert the clay cap. They should also put some small fencing or barriers around them so the mower doesn't break them again.

Dr. Ed said...

And post it "No Trespassing."

Anonymous said...

Stage 1: The Town rejected any notion that the Old Landfill may have any problems listed in the reports.

Stage 2: The Town acknowledges that the problems are real and contaminants are leaching out into the wetlands, but it's not a point of concern for the Water Supply Protection Committee because this contaminants are not reaching the aquifer. As to the high values of dioxane detected in the aquifer protection area, they are too high to be real and therefore must be an error.

Should we wait for the Stage 3?

Anonymous said...

The Committee misses the point of the report: it's not about the water being unsafe now, it is about measures to be taken to make sure it stays safe.