Water and Sewer Committee Update

As you know, the City of Melrose has a Water and Sewer Committee that holds public meetings throughout the year to discuss issues relative to water and sewer operations and rates. The public is welcome to attend all meetings; agendas are posted in advance on the City of Melrose website. The Committee last met on December 22. Below is a summary of the most recent meeting.

MWRA Advisory Board Update
The new City Engineer, Elena Proakis, has been appointed to the MWRA Advisory Board. She gave an update on the Advisory Board’s November meeting agenda and on several capital projects the MWRA is in the process of completing. She will continue to attend MWRA meetings together with DPW Director John Scenna, and she will be a new addition to the Water and Sewer Committee, offering insights and expertise.

Municipal Accounts
DPW Director John Scenna gave an update on municipal water and sewer accounts, which include all municipal buildings and grounds, schools, the library, the Milano Senior Center, Memorial Hall, the police and fire stations, all parks and playing fields, and Wyoming Cemetery. Municipal water usage increased from 2014 to 2015, chiefly because of the extensive dry periods of weather between May and September, new meters capturing more accurate data of water use, and new and repaired irrigation systems in city parks and fields. 
           The city inspects these meters throughout the year to make sure they are functioning correctly, and the staff monitors the accounts to ensure that the city is efficient as possible in its water consumption and building operations.
            DPW uses best practices to conserve water, including adjusting timing on irrigation systems according to weather conditions, installing low-flow appliances in municipal buildings when equipment is replaced, and aggressively repairing leaks in buildings as they are identified and reported.
            The City of Melrose follows “best practices’” for the accounting of all water and sewer usage.

Consumption Summary
Consumption has increased in 2015 throughout all MWRA communities. Total water usage in the City of Melrose is up 1.26% over 2014, while the overall increase in all MWRA communities is 2.8%

Call for Bids for Water Consultant
The city of Melrose put out a Request for Qualifications for a water and sewer rate consultant, as approved by the Board of Aldermen in 2012. This consultant will assist the administration in preparing rates for the 2017 fiscal year.

The Water & Sewer Committee is made up Alderman John Tramontozzi, City Auditor Patrick DelloRusso, City Treasurer Art Flavin, DPW Director John Scenna, and City Engineer Eleana Proakis Ellis.

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