UMass owns BIG tank (1.5 million gallons), the town owns little one (475K gallons)
The Amherst water supply system is a fine tuned operation that efficiently delivers vital water to homes, businesses and our institutes of higher education. The problem occurs when there is not enough water being replenished via Mother Nature.
A sophisticated monitoring system feeds into a control station at the DPW to automatically adjust water tower levels and almost like a thermostat will signal industrial wells to kick in accordingly to keep up with demand.
Holding Rudy in reserve
At the moment that demand is just under the 3.5 millions gallons per day the town set as a benchmark for dealing with the drought, although peak day hit 3.7 mgd on Wednesday, September 7th.
Last year peak day was September 6th with 4.2 millions gallons used, so we're still ahead of the game.
Click to enlarge/read
Atkins Reservoir is going off line on September 21st joining Hawley and Hills reservoirs which are also in hibernation, thus leaving the town relying solely on our wells. It takes three or four days to properly shut down Atkins and another three or four to fire it back up.
Atkins and Centennial will be off line as of September 21
We did this once last winter for a month or so -- but not while UMass was in session -- and for a more extended period way back in the early 1980s.
Four of the five wells are tied into the DPW monitoring station for electronic control but (backup) Well 5 is not and has to be fired up and adjusted by hand. And after 5-7 days it needs to be shut down for a while to rest. But well 5 is the only one with a name: "Rudy".
Probably because after the brief hiatus he comes off the bench, kicks back on, and delivers the 500,000 gallons per day that could be a make or break difference in the very near future. Go Rudy!
Rudy: The little well that could