About the MRVWD

Mattapoisett River Valley Water District

Summary and Background

The Mattapoisett River Valley Water District includes water supply sources operated by the Towns of Fairhaven, Marion and Mattapoisett, also serving the Town of Rochester.

Each town was experiencing elevated concentrations of iron and manganese in their wells, requiring several wells to be placed offline. Rather than constructing several treatment facilities for the eight wells, the Towns teamed to construct a single advanced water treatment facility.

This is the third ultrafilitration treatment facility in the state, and will provide exceptional treatment, allowing the Towns to meet and exceed current and future treatment standards.

Construction was financed with a low interest loan obtained through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program, managed by the Mass DEP and the State Treasurer.

The Towns have worked together for the last 20 years on water resources protection through the Mattapoisett River Valley Water Supply Protection Advisory Committee. The Committee assessed annual fees to the members based on the amount of water pumped and uses these fees for land purchase and other water resource protection measures. They meet regularly regarding watershed planning, resource management and to review pumping data from within the valley. This Committee formed the basis of the District.

Formation of the MRVD

In 2002 the Towns began discussions regarding source water quality, future supply needs and water treatment alternatives for reactivation of sources that were off line due to poor water quality. All three towns have lost supply capacity due to high concentrations of iron and manganese in their wells.

At their spring 2003 Annual Town meetings, the four Towns approved funding for a study committee to look at water supply needs of the four communities. The Committee consisted of three appointees from each town. The Committee's scope included review of current and future water supply capacity and demands, water quality, and treatment alternatives, development of recommendations as to the advisability of establishing a regional water district, organization of the district; and resolution of operation and control issues, and estimated construction, operation and maintenance costs of district facilities.

In response to the Committee's recommendations, the four Towns put forth articles for approval of the Regional Water District at their Spring 2004 annual Town meetings. The District was approved overwhelmingly by all four towns based upon written ballots. 

Special Legislation, Chapter 367 of the Acts of 2004 , passed in October of 2004, established the District.

Design and Construction

The District's engineers, Tata & Howard, assisted the Towns in evaluating and formulating the Water District. The project posed unique challenges due to varying water chemistry from well to well and the need for several miles of raw and finished water transmission mains. The engineers conducted a water supply study, water treatment facility siting evaluation, and completed the design of the ultrafiltration treatment facility.

The District water treatment facility project is located in the Town of Mattapoisett off Tinkham Lane. The water treatment facility treats water from the following sources:

Fairhaven Tinkham Lane1.70 mgd
Fairhaven Wolf Island (1, 2, 3)1.01 mgd
Mattapoisett No. 30.75 mgd
Mattapoisett No. 40.72 mgd
Mattapoisett No. 51.00 mgd

Marion Wolf Island

0.80 mgd
 5.98 mgd

District facilities include:

  • 6MGD ultrafiltration water treatment facility (WTF).
  • Raw water transmission mains between the wells and the WTF.
  • Finished water transmission mains from the WTF to the existing Town transmission mains.
  • Finished water main to Marion.
  • Control/metering station at Marion connection.