* Route 79 Project Advisory *

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Water System Improvements

The Fall River Water Division is devoted to improving the water systems in the City through various types of maintenance and general upkeep. Today, the Division supplies an average of 10.7 million gallons of purified water to the City, with a maximum capacity of over 20 millions gallons daily.

With much of Fall River’s Water System being installed before the 1930s, updates to the system were and are still needed to keep the quality of the City’s water at a high level. The Water System Master Plan calls for ongoing improvements to the water supply, treatment plant, and distribution system.

Improvements to date include a complete rehabilitation of the Water Treatment Plant, over 50 miles of water pipe replaced in the distribution system, and repairs and rehabilitation to storage tanks.

Water Main Replacement

The City still must replace more than 100 miles of 100-year old cast iron water mains with cement lined ductile iron water mains, such as the one on this page.  These old mains are rusted and corroded, causing less water to flow through them than ultimately possible, and rusty water problems. New water mains result in cleaner water that flows more freely and efficiently through pipes, and restores full fire fighting capacity.

Tank Maintenance Program

The City’s extensive tank maintenance program includes regular inspection, cleaning, repairing, and painting of the tanks based on their condition.  The Storage Tank Improvement Program guides the rehabilitation and repair of all storage facilities. Repair timelines depend on:

  • Weather and environment
  • Age of earlier painting system
  • Type and frequency of use
  • Pre-existing condition of tank
  • Paint manufacturer’s recommendations

The tanks are being equipped with new mixing systems aimed to result in better tank turnover, a higher disinfection residual, and improved resistance to microbial growth.

Lead Service Replacement Program

A major part of the water system improvements include compliance with regulations for lead and copper.  The water now pumped is more “passive”, so it does not dissolve copper or lead from water service pipes.  In addition, the City is well into a multi-year program of replacement of lead pipes.  This “lead service replacement program” is tied to the water main replacement work.

Operational Improvements

The Water Division is focused on improved operations regarding corrosion control, water turnover in storage tanks, and distribution system flushing.  These improvements are in accordance with modern operational practices and regulations.

The End Result

With these rehabilitations, improvements, and operational updates, the City will keep its place as one of the best water suppliers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Continued update and implementation of the Water System Master Plan will assure high quality water service and fire protection to the City of Fall River and its residents in the future.

It may come as a surprise to learn that Fall River’s water rate is still lower than average within the Commonwealth.  We’re pleased about that, and will try to continue that way