Intel Massachusetts Establishes $1.5M Fund to
Develop Groundwater Recharge Project in Assabet River Watershed
The following is a press release from Intel
Patrick G. Ward
to Build Catch Basin on its Hudson Campus to Recharge 175,000
Gallons per Day
HUDSON, Mass., June 3, 2002 - Intel Corporation
announced today that it is setting up a $1.5 million fund to support
groundwater recharge projects in the Assabet River watershed. On its
own campus in Hudson, Intel will reroute storm water from its storm
basins and catch drains to a new 2.5-acre infiltration basin. The
water there will percolate into the ground and add an average of
175,000 gallons per day to the natural base flow or groundwater
inflow into the Assabet River.
The Intel fund can support a variety of projects
that capture, store, and recharge storm water into natural aquifers
that supply a steady base flow to the Assabet. The fund could also
pay for projects that recharge aquifers with highly treated
wastewater, or for small-scale projects that store storm water with
cisterns or dry wells. .
"Intel has decided to take a leadership
position in encouraging projects that will return storm water to
ground water in one of the fastest-growing areas of the state,"
said Intel Massachusetts Public Affairs Manager Ann Hurd. "Too
much storm water goes down storm drains, into the river, and out to
the ocean. Our fund will encourage model projects along the Assabet
Watershed that will demonstrate how storm water can be returned to
the aquifers, where it will help maintain both base flow in the
Assabet River and sustainable municipal water supplies."
Intel has asked the Organization for the Assabet
River (OAR) to join the advisory board that will direct Intel's
groundwater recharge fund. "Intel is providing a good model of
sustainable, industrial development that should be replicated by
other water users," said OAR Director Julia Blatt. "We
appreciate Intel's willingness to work with us to develop this
approach to mitigation, and to reach out to the environmental
community in general. "We look forward to a long-term working
relationship with Intel, and to working with other water users to
replicate this program elsewhere in the watershed."
Sustainable development means taking logical
steps to protect the future
"Intel's decision to build a storm water
recharge system on its own Hudson campus, and fund similar projects
in the Assabet Watershed, demonstrates that "sustainable
development" is more than a phrase. It's a series of logical
steps that we can take today to protect our future," said
Robert Durand, Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs.
"Intel's investments bring us closer to the day when MetroWest
business, government, and other builders will routinely include such
recharge systems in their development plans."
The Assabet River does not meet applicable water
quality standards because it carries excessive nutrients (phosphorus
and nitrogen) contributed by seven wastewater treatment plants,
story water runoff, and sediments. Efforts to increase and sustain
base flow help the Assabet, particularly during the low-flow period
from July to September, when additional base flow can dilute
nutrients and other pollutants and keeps Assabet tributaries from
drying up. Over the long-term, the proportion of treated wastewater
in the Assabet will grow unless base flow increases.
The increasing number of wells in the MetroWest
area, as well as withdrawals from ponds and other surface waters,
can reduce base flow into the Assabet Watershed. So can paving for
roadways, parking lots and other building, which blocks storm water
from naturally recharging the aquifers that feed the Assabet.
Intel and OAR welcome grant applications from
Assabet River watershed municipalities and private, nonprofit
organizations in the Assabet River Watershed. Consultants may also
apply on behalf of a town or private, nonprofit organization.
Letters of interest, the first step in the proposal process, are due
October 1, 2002, and announcement of grant awards are expected in
Grant applications can find a Request for Proposal
(RFP form on both the Intel and OAR Websites at www.intel.com/go/tomassachusetts
and www.assabetriver.org respectively (starting in
Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, is also a
leading manufacturer of computer networking and communications
products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom.
*Third party marks and brands are property of
their respective holders.
See photos from the June 3, 2002 Press
For more information:
Contact Julia Blatt
Organization for the Assabet River
Damonmill Square, Concord, MA 01742