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Water Dept. receives DEP award

Wilbraham Water Superintendent Michael Framarin displays several awards received by the DEP. Reminder photo by Sarah M. Corigliano
By Sarah M. Corigliano

Assistant Managing Editor

WILBRAHAM The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently notified the town of Wilbraham that its Water Department would, again, receive an award for outstanding performance: the annual Water System Award. Wilbraham (whose public water system serves that town and part of Ludlow) regularly ranks in the top five percent of the state's community public water systems. The DEP ranks water departments on their compliance with drinking water regulations, administrative capacity, source protection, distribution treatment, disinfection and monitoring.

Framarin noted that the department performs so well because he has been in the business for so long.

"I've been doing this for 30 years it's in my blood," Framarin said. "I'm a stickler for exactness, timeliness and doing it right."

He added, "A lot of this award is paperwork."

Framarin also attributed the department's success to its staff members, who are dedicated to doing their best each day.

On a daily basis, he said his department "interfaces" with DEP on some level.

For example, members of the Water Department may conduct residential water sampling, repair damage to the water system anywhere within the service area, and take measures that ensure the department adheres to the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act.

"Nothing can happen to the water," Framarin said. "A big thing is the water quality we haven't had a coliform hit since 1993."

Each month, he explained, the DEP requires water samples and, the last time any coliform was detected was 13 years ago.

"We get out there and take care of it and [we] don't let anything slide," he added.

Framarin noted that, last year, Wilbraham could not win an award because the department won the previous three years. This year, however, it was eligible again and was notified of the award April 21.

The superintendent added that 2001 was the first year a western Massachusetts water department Wilbraham ranked first in the state.