The Water Master Plan (Plan) provides a comprehensive overview of Weston’s water system and infrastructure, taking into account current and projected water usage over the next two decades. It allows the Town to take stock of current population trends and water usage patterns, to make reasonable projections of population and water needs, and to identify where infrastructure investments are needed to ensure that the system can provide service to the community. Twenty years is a standard planning period for this type of study: far enough into the future that currently observable trends can be anticipated, and not so far into the future that the time frame exceeds our confidence. Mechanical equipment has a service life of about 20 years, but water pipes and storage tanks have a long useful life and thus require long planning periods of 50 or more years. The purpose of the Water Master Plan is to provide the Town with a road map to take us from the present to the future, confident that we have anticipated likely issues pertaining to our water service.
The Plan provides a detailed-enough look at our existing infrastructure and our likely future needs that we can confidently begin to address areas of concern regarding the Town’s provision of water. Weston is primarily a residential community. Increases in residential population, including increases due to 40B housing projects, have a nominal effect on water supply needs and therefore these plans typically only need to be updated every ten years, and in some cases every five years. Because our Plan is three years old, an update at this time would not provide appreciably different conclusions. Instead, it is now time to move to implementation of the Plan that we have.
The Plan is a flexible document that gives us the data we need to shift our priorities as needed. The highest priority identified in the Plan is to increase the system’s hydraulic conditions by increasing storage capacity and raising the height of the tanks. The need for increased storage capacity and increased height are critical and fundamental components of this Plan and would be part of any future plan. Further, the Paine’s Hill Tank has continued to deteriorate since 2019, giving the Town even more reason to focus on the Paines Hill Tank project as its first action item. Prior to construction, the Town will confirm final overflow elevations and system hydraulics and operations, identify suitable properties on which to construct tanks, and detail construction sequencing and hydraulic needs while each of the tanks are being integrated into the system.