Dover Water Systems - Update

Aquarion’s commitment: delivering clean, high‑quality water

Since acquiring the Colonial Water Company systems in December 2021, Aquarion has been focused on improving water quality, increasing system reliability, and promoting conservation.  The presentation at the link below provides a description of the water systems and the actions we’ve taken to improve the systems.

See latest infrastructure improvement update:

person filling up a glass of tap water

How we have addressed discolored water

Beginning in July 2022, we began experiencing discolored water in our system. We’d like to explain the cause of this discoloration, what we’ve done to address it, and additional actions we’re taking.

Sources of water supply

There are three separate service areas in our distribution system (see map):

  1. Dover Main System, which is split into two pressure zones (main and downtown). The main pressure zone has historically been supplied by the Francis Street wells; note that the Draper Road wells can also be used to supply water to this pressure zone; however, Aquarion has not used these wells due to water quality issues. The downtown pressure zone is supplied at most times (and currently) by the Knollwood Drive wells.
  2. Springdale Farms, which is supplied by our Springdale wells.
  3. Chickering, which is supplied by our Chickering wells.

We experienced discolored water in the Dover Main System—specifically in the main pressure zone.

Dover Water Systems Map

What is the cause of discolored water?

Prior to December 2021, when Aquarion acquired the water systems, there were periods of discolored water in the water systems. This discolored water was caused by naturally occurring iron and manganese in the water from the three wells at the Francis Street wellfield.

When Aquarion acquired the water systems in Dover, we evaluated the water quality of our three Francis Street wells and changed the operation so that we were primarily using the well with the best water quality. We also cleaned the water mains (clearing out historic deposits of iron and manganese sediment) by flushing water through hydrants. These actions resolved the discolored water issues.

We have continued to monitor the level of iron and manganese in these wells. Unfortunately, in June 2023, we observed an increase in the manganese levels in the wells. This led to discolored water in our system.

What additional actions have we taken?

When Aquarion acquired the water systems in Dover, we determined that Knollwood Drive wells had better water quality than Francis Street and Draper Road wells. The Knollwood Drive wells also have additional capacity.

Due to the design of the pressure zones, the Knollwood Drive wells could only provide water for customers in the downtown pressure zone.  Aquarion constructed projects at three locations in town that addressed that issue, and instead allowed us to provide all of our customers in the main pressure zone with water from the Knollwood Drive wells.

These projects include:

  1. Upgrades to the wells, treatment, and facilities at the Knollwood Drive wells.
  2. Construction of a pump station at our Picardy Drive facility.
  3. Construction of new piping, valving, and metering in our interconnection vault on Centre Street.

All of these projects were completed by the end of October 2023.

Water system upgrades

Week of October 23 (completed October 25, 2023)

  • A new interconnection was opened to allow the higher-quality Knollwood wells to supply water to customers in the green highlighted area on the map of the Dover Main System.
  • Customers in this green highlighted area no longer receive water from the Francis Street wells.
  • Customers in the green highlighted area had a pressure reduction of approximately 35 PSI.
  • Customers in the yellow highlighted area, which already receive Knollwood water, had a pressure increase of approximately 15 PSI. Following this permanent conversion to higher pressure, Aquarion advised you to check your plumbing for leaks—particularly the connections to washing machines, as well as pressure-relief settings on hot water tanks.

Week of October 30 (completed November 2, 2023)

  • A new pump station went online at our Picardy Drive facility. This enabled Aquarion to move water from the Knollwood wells into the blue highlighted area on the map of the Dover Main System.
  • Customers in the area highlighted in blue receive a portion of their water from the Knollwood wells.
  • Customers in the northern portion of the blue highlighted area receive up to 100 percent of their water from the Knollwood wells.
  • Customers in the southern portion of the blue highlighted area receive a mix of Knollwood and Francis Street water. The percentage depends on current water demands in the Dover Main System.
  • Water pressure in the blue highlighted area remains unchanged.

Protect your water quality by adhering to our 2-day irrigation schedule

We also continue to remind our customers about the 2-day per week irrigation schedule. When irrigation systems turn on in the early morning, more of our wells need to turn on to meet the increased demand. This means that we have to use our wells with lesser water quality to meet these irrigation demands. If all of our customers adhere to the irrigation schedule, we can reduce the use of these wells.

See Irrigation Schedule

Iron and manganese in your water

Please refer to our water quality reports to learn about the quality of the water we provide to our customers in Dover. Our reports include information on the health effects of manganese.

See Water Quality Reports

How we're addressing PFAS concerns

What happened?

The water that we provide to homes served by our Springdale Farms System (PWSID MA3078008) comes from two wells located on our property at the end of Old Colony Drive (see map).

Test results in 2022 showed that the PFAS6 levels in the water from these wells had increased and exceeded the allowable level (referred to as the Maximum Contaminant Level or MCL) set by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for the period 06/01/2022 to 09/30/2022 and 10/01/2022 to 12/31/2022. 

The PFAS test results are included in the Notices for both periods (1/10/23 Notice, 10/5/22 Notice). PFAS levels subsequently decreased and were below the MCL in early 2023. For past months’ PFAS results, please visit our PFAS FAQs page. Note that compliance with the MCL is based on the quarterly average of three months of test results.

What does this mean?

This is not an emergency. If it had been, you would have been notified within 24 hours. MassDEP requires us to distribute this Notice within 30 days of receiving the results for the last sample collected in each quarterly compliance period. Although this is not an emergency, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we did and are doing to correct this situation. Please refer to the Notices (1/10/23 Notice10/5/22 Notice) for this information.

We are taking the following corrective actions:

  • We will continue to sample the water we provide monthly for PFAS.
  • We are identifying and evaluating alternative solutions, including treatment to remove PFAS from the water, and providing water from our other wellfields in Dover.
  • We are working with MassDEP to reduce the levels of PFAS, including providing this Notice, which has been reviewed and approved by the MassDEP.
  • When additional information becomes available, the public notice will be updated.

Submit a claim for bottled water reimbursement

Aquarion Water Company is reimbursing households served by our Springdale water system for bottled water purchases made after October 1, 2022 because PFAS levels in the well water for that system exceed the regulatory limit.

Submit Reimbursement Claim

Contact Us

Contact us by phone at 1-800-732-9678, by email at, or by mail at 200 Monroe Turnpike, Monroe, CT 06468.

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