Category Archives: Public Health and Safety Updates

Results of Maynard Drinking Water Source Sampling

This summer, the MA Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency sampled Maynard drinking water wells to test for per– and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of man-made chemicals that include PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. The federal limit of these chemicals in drinking water is 70 Parts Per Trillion (PPT). The MA Department of Environmental Protection is considering decreasing the limit in Massachusetts to 20 PPT.

Results of the Maynard sampling ranged from 4.1 to 9.4 PPT, significantly below the federal limit, and the proposed state limit. Based on these results, the Town Administrator’s Office agrees with the town’s water engineering firm Stantec, that PFAS/PFOA at the current drinking water sources is not a concern at this time.

UPDATE: Regional Water Quality Sample Results (Nov 2019)

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection issued a Notice of Responsibility to the Department of Fire Services (DFS) on October 24th, 2019 citing levels of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) detected in water in White Pond and the DFS grounds.

PFAS is a common chemical, and specifically found in fire suppression materials, namely AFFF foam. DFS no longer uses materials containing PFAS in their fire training.

DFS hired GZA as a Licensed Site Professional (LSP) to investigate the origins of the contamination, the scope of the contamination, and the possible migration of the contamination.

White Pond is not a current water source for the Town of Maynard, however the Town does retain rights to utilize this source.

To obtain details on this investigation and findings:

  1. Click here to access the MassDEP website
  2. Under the Release Tracking Number (RTN), select “2” for the region and enter “0021045” for the tracking id
  3. Click on the Search button.

DPW: Town-wide Construction Projects Update

Sidewalk and Pedestrian Crossing Improvements

Work at Summer Street near Glendale Street and work at Summer/Main/Waltham Streets will be starting the week of 10/21/19, and continuing through mid-November 2019.

Glenwood Cemetery Paving Program

Work will be starting the week of 10/21/19, and was completed in mid-November 2019.

2019 Fall Paving Program (various streets)

Work will be starting the week of 10/21/19, and continuing through mid-November 2019.  Click here for details and updates.

Great Road Sidewalk Work

Work is partially complete and will continue into mid-November 2019 until complete. Please note that the area of Great Road in front of the Town schools is an active construction zone. Residents should do their best to stay out of the work areas as trip and fall hazards could exist within the work areas.

Mosquito Control Treatment Planned – EEE Risk

Update: 16-Sep-2019

Aerial Spraying was completed by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources in the Town of Maynard on September 14th. For more information on the aerial spraying, visit Mass.gov.

  • Treatment of Crowe Park, Reo Park and Rockland Avenue Field was completed on September 14th by East Middlesex Mosquito Control.
  • Treatment of all school fields will be  completed the evening of September 16th, 2019.
  • The pesticide that will be used is Mavrik Perimeter, with active ingredient tau-fluvalinate EPA# 2724-478.
  • The treatment will target large vegetation surrounding the fields. This product leaves a residue that can kill mosquitoes for multiple days as they land to rest. The product was applied to the perimeter, not the fields. No precautions need to be made.

EEE Risk

Based on recent Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) activity and/or positive mosquito detection in the area, Massachusetts Department of Public Health has raised the EEE risk in some towns.

Residents are encouraged to take personal protective actions to avoid mosquito bites (see details below).

Please refer to the mosquito results website to view risk levels.

The Town of Maynard is currently at a high risk threat level from the State of Massachusetts Department of Public Health for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

Although EEE virus has not been isolated in Maynard at this time, the virus has been found in several towns surrounding our community. As such, it is vital that residents take all steps necessary to avoid mosquito bites, whether at home or when visiting communities with elevated EEE risk. The threat is expected to remain elevated until the first hard frost of the year, which typically occurs in October. All residents are strongly urged to follow the recommendations listed below to protect themselves and their loved ones from illness caused by mosquitoes. The following recommendations are being made to reduce potential exposure:

  • Wear mosquito repellent: Products with 30% DEET, Permethrin, Picardin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are the most effective
  • Be aware of peak mosquito hours: Mosquitos are most active from dusk to dawn
  • Drain standing water on your property: Mosquitos lay eggs in standing or stagnant water
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants: Covering skin will limit potential exposure
  • Avoid outside areas with obvious mosquito activity

The East Middlesex Mosquito Control and Suffolk County Mosquito Control is a great resource, visit https://sudbury.ma.us/emmcp/

Click here for fact sheets related to EEE published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC)

The Town of Maynard contracts with East Middlesex Mosquito Control for larval mosquito control through helicopter and ground applications, catch basin larval control, and adult mosquito surveillance.

MA announces aerial spraying for mosquitos (EEE Risk)

State Officials Announce Additional Aerial Spraying for EEE in Critical and High Risk Communities

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is scheduled to begin aerial spraying evening of Tuesday, September 10th and continue into next week in parts of Middlesex, Worcester, and Norfolk counties. While aerial spraying is weather and equipment dependent, above-average evening temperatures this week are likely to permit the application. The Town of Maynard is entirely within the spray zone.

MDAR Spray Map

For the latest spray updates, please refer to the MDAR Aerial Spray Map:  https://massnrc.org/spray-map/  

  • The map will display a polygon representing the areas to be sprayed. The map is searchable by address—residents can enter their address to determine if their address is in the spray zone.
  • The map will be updated each day to reflect the last evening’s spray area. Please note map preparation takes time and may result in some delays in posting.

Questions

Click here to read the full press release related to this action.

Also, please read our post providing more information about the EEE threat and how to protect yourself.

Further Information:

DPH contact: Ann Scales
Ann.Scales@state.ma.us
(617) 624-5006

MDAR contact: Peter Lorenz
Peter.Lorenz@mass.gov
(617) 626-1106

Heat Wave Warning

The Maynard Emergency Management team reminds everyone that hot temperatures combined with high humidity levels are expected to create dangerous heat conditions, with the most oppressive conditions expected Saturday.

Due to the extreme heat forecast for the weekend, the Police Station and the meeting rooms at both Powder Mill Circle and Concord Street Circle will be open 24/7 on Saturday and Sunday as cooling centers for those that need a place to cool off.

MEMA urges residents to take precautions during the upcoming extreme heat. Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle, stay hydrated, dress in loose-fitting clothing, stay out of the sun as much as possible, especially during peak midday hours, and watch for heat-related illnesses.

As always, check on your family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, to make sure they are safe during this extreme heat – thank you.

Continue reading Heat Wave Warning

Message from Eversource regarding high heat and electricity demand

We recommend that all Maynard residents and businesses read the following message from Eversource regarding expected high heat and increased electricity demand:

With sweltering heat and high humidity across the region over the next several days, air conditioners and fans are expected to be working overtime. Though high electricity usage during a heat wave can put a strain on the electric system, Eversource is prepared to meet that increased demand and its crews are ready to respond to any outages or issues that arise.

“We prepare year-round to meet the increased demand and to ensure that our system is ready tohandle additional electricity needs that come with a heat wave,” said Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom. “This includes conducting detailed inspections of our electric system in advance of the extreme heat to detect and resolve any issues ahead of time so that our customers have the energy they need for every moment of their lives, even in the face of potentially record- breaking heat.”

As the heat wave approaches, Eversource offers these common-sense hot weather tips to help customers stay comfortable, and save energy and money on their electric bills during this period of high demand:

Continue reading Message from Eversource regarding high heat and electricity demand

MFD Grilling Safety Tips

grilling-exampleFire Chief Anthony Stowers and the Maynard Fire Department would like to remind residents to follow the grilling safety tips outlined below as they begin cooking out this summer.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services (DFS), Massachusetts fire departments responded to 431 fires involving grills, hibachis and barbecues between 2011 and 2015. These fires caused 20 civilian injuries, three firefighter injuries and $3.5 million in property damage.

“Residents should be cautious and aware when it comes to outdoor grilling this summer,” Chief Stowers said. “We want residents to enjoy themselves and have fun, but we are advising everyone to follow grilling safety guidelines while they do so.”

In order to prevent grilling fires and keep residents safe while cooking outdoors, Chief Stowers recommends the following tips provided by DFS:

Safety First

  • Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
  • Place grills away from the house, deck railings and out from under eaves of overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling area. Children should never play near grills or propane cylinders.
  • Never leave a burning grill unattended.

Gas Grill Safety

  • Make sure the lid of a gas grill is open when you light it. Propane can build up inside and when ignited, the lid may blow off.
  • Check that all connections are tight before turning on the gas.
  • Clean the grease trap every time you grill.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, turn the grill off and move away from it. Call 911 from a safe location. Do not move the grill.
  • Store propane cylinders upright in an outdoor, shaded area. Cylinders should not be used, stored or transported where they can be exposed to high temperatures.

Charcoal Grill Safety

  • Use only charcoal starter fluid. Never used gasoline or kerosene to start a fire in a grill and never add lighter fluid to burning briquettes or hot coals.
  • Always use charcoal grills in a well-ventilated area. Charcoal briquettes give off carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.
  • Properly dispose of grill ashes. Allow the coals to burn out completely and then cool for 48 hours before disposal. If you must dispose of ashes before they are completely cooled, thoroughly soak them in water before putting them in a metal container.

Anyone who has questions about grilling safety should contact the Maynard Fire Department at 978-897-1015.

Senior Citizen Emergency Database Program

The Town of Maynard Public Safety Communications Department (Police and Fire Dispatch) has initiated a new program to assist seniors living in the Town of Maynard.  Having seniors in our community that do not have family or friends checking up on them regularly has led the public safety department to develop a “Senior Citizen Emergency Database Program”.

This program allows the public safety communications department to document in a computer database the names of senior citizens, where they reside, and important contact information. In addition, information concerning current medications and potential special needs during an unusual inclement weather event or natural disaster will be on file.

Visit the Maynard Police Department website to learn more about (and sign up for) this program.

MFD Retiring Hard-Wired Street Pull Stations

It’s the end of a era…mfd-pull-box

Fire Chief Anthony Stowers announces that the Maynard Fire Department is beginning to remove hard-wired street boxes in town, as part of its process of modernizing its fire notification system.

The venerable old street boxes were manufactured by The Gamewell Co. of Newton, and have been in service since the 1800s. They rely on a hard-wired telegraph system that sends a numerical code to the dispatch center, corresponding with its location, when someone pulls the handle.

The system requires extensive upkeep and costly repairs, and in today’s day and age of cell phones, the boxes are not being used as much as they were in years past.

The boxes will soon be replaced by radio boxes, which are less costly and require less maintenance. The radio boxes work much the same way cell phones operate, and they are able to relay more information, much quicker.

“The street boxes served our department well over many decades, but times have changed,” Chief Stowers said. “New technology will allow us to receive vital information quicker with much lower maintenance costs.”

Crews are starting at Mockingbird Lane and will continue through town until every box is removed and upgraded. The total upgrade process is expected to take up to two years.

MFD starting Commercial Property Fire Safety Surveys

As part of our continuing effort to meet our mission and reduce community risk, the Maynard Fire Department will be starting a new round of pre-fire planning and fire safety surveys in commercial occupancies here in Maynard.

What this involves is firefighters going into commercial occupancies and conducting a comprehensive pre-fire plan. This pre-fire plan will give us information vital to protecting that building and other buildings around it in the event a fire breaks out. The second part is to conduct a fire safety survey on each commercial property in the community. This purpose of this part of the project is to help the building owner or manager keep their property as safe as possible to reduce the risk of a fire occurring and lessening the chance the buildings occupants will be harmed in the event there is a fire.

We have scheduled these pre-plans and safety surveys to occur throughout the year. Each group of firefighters has been assigned specific buildings and a month in which to conduct pre-fire plans and safety surveys. We ask that you cooperate with our firefighters as our ultimate goal is to protect you, your business and its patrons and ultimately the residents and visitors of Maynard. If our firefighters have visited you at a bad time, we ask that you try and reschedule a more convenient time with them before they leave. Certain occupancies in the community are required to have a safety survey conducted more than once a year, specifically churches are required to be surveyed (2) annually and schools (4) times annually. These occupancies may need to have specific times and a date assigned to them to ensure a property representative is available to assist in the survey. This process is not meant to be, and should not be disruptive to your operation.

During this process our firefighters will be requesting certain information from you as the property representative. This request will be for up to date contact information so that in the event we need to contact a building representative after hours, we have the correct information. Part of this information will be a valid email address if you have one. The reason for this is to give us the ability to email you a copy of our inspection report when it is complete. Your insurance carrier may have an interest in seeing this report or the building owner may like a copy if that is not you. This is part of our effort keep costs down by using and storing less paper moving forward.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Anthony Stowers
Fire Chief
978-897-1014