Hingham Anchor Opinion by Peter Bickford
Support the Town and Vote Yes
Almost one third of Hingham’s drinking water supply comes from surface water, the remaining water comes from wells and ground water. It cannot be over stated that we must protect land areas that contribute to our water recourses. They are being developed at an alarming rate and Hingham’s only recourse is to buy critical parcels of land and try to contain development. Investing in land around water resourses pay double incentives. You get the aesthetic benefit and also a direct protection of your water supply. The Hingham Board of Health is invested in protecting our aquifer to ensure quality drinking water for our citizens. We work relentlessly with developers to scale down nitrogen loads on new projects, to donate land in areas of critical environmental concern and to use innovated technology in repairing failed septic systems.
In the last five years the Board of Health has negotiated with the Baptist Church on Main st. to acquire almost ten acres of land adjacent to our primary well fields. At 901 Main st. a 40 B project was proposed with sixty five living units on land adjacent to a tributary to our water source at Fulling Mill Pond. Because of our demand for the applicant to adhere to our strict by-laws we were able to reduce sixty five housing units to four single family houses in this critical area.
More recently the Riverstone project has purposed thirty two housing units on 6.67 acres of land with ninety bedrooms. There have been no septic nitrogen ground water protection proposals and contamination would likely doom this potentially productive aquifer from future water supply purposes. The Boards letter to the Hingham ZBA suggested no more than twenty six to twenty nine bedrooms (according to the Board of Health by-laws) to build on this relatively small site. The status of this development sits in the courts.
We believe at the Board of Health that town officials as well as boards, committees, and our citizens will have the responsibility of protecting the future water supply for our town. The responsibility is ours. Hingham tax payers have spent millions of dollars per this endeavor while Aquarian reaps the benefit while contributing very little. Municipal utilities benefit from for many state and federal grants to secure vital land where Aquarian as a private company is not.
Aquarion is in the business to sell water, Hingham would be in the business to provide water. Please support the town and vote yes to control and manage our water supply.