Scientists studying groundwater levels in Shutesbury

SHUTESBURY, Mass. (WWLP) – The residents of the Franklin County town of Shutesbury get their water from wells, and now a study is being done to find out if anything is happening to the groundwater supply there. Recent studies in other communities have shown a decline in the water in the bedrock over the last few decades.

Last summer, Mt. Holyoke College geology and chemistry graduate Amber Legare started conducting research at four sites in Shutesbury. Deep wells and shallow water wells were drilled at the sites. One of the wells near Town Hall is 300 feet deep.

The shallow wells monitor the water in the sandy layer of the ground, while the deep wells monitor what is happening to the water in the bedrock.

“We haven’t reached a conclusion yet, we’re just seeing what is going on. We wanted to see how they’re responding to rainfall events, how the wells are responding to snow mel,t and to see what the rate is of the hydraulic conductivity of the bedrock,” Legare said.

Dr. Alen Werner has been helping Legare with the study, and she expects it to continue for decades.

The U.S. Geological Survey is also monitoring the wells.

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