BOSTON (WWLP) – About 60,000 western Massachusetts residents get their water from the Barnes Aquifer in Southampton. That land is now under local protection to keep the water you drink clean.
The Baker-Polito administration awarded nearly $900,000 to five Massachusetts public water suppliers to safe guard drinking water systems, including reservoirs and aquifers. Southampton received $350,000 to purchase 16 acres of forest and farmland in the Barnes Aquifer; land at risk for development had it not been protected.
The Director of Land Policy and Planning Kurt Gaertner told 22News that building houses near an Aquifer increases the risk for contamination; “People often fertilize or put pesticides on their lawns. It can have some implications for water quality and there’s always risks associated with things like cars and oil tanks. Protecting the land helps to avoid the risks associated with those sorts of things.”
The South Deerfield Water Supply District also received grant money to preserve land near their reservoirs.