D19 – Collaborative Options to Improve Drinking Water Quality in Boxborough, MA

Project Description:

Stakeholders in western Boxborough, Massachusetts face serious water quality challenges due to drinking water contamination from road salt and wastewater discharge. The MassDEP and MassDOT are seeking a collaborative water solution to address these concerns. The goals of this project were to help research possible solutions and create public outreach materials for affected stakeholders to explain possible courses of action and facilitate collaboration. Collaborating with the town of Littleton to drill a new well and extend their water system into Boxborough was identified as most feasible. The project resulted in framework for stakeholders to continue to work towards finalizing a plan for collaborating with Littleton to help remediate water issues.  


Project Goal and Objectives:

The goal of this project was to research water options that would help improve drinking water quality at the 495/111 intersection in Boxborough and to create public outreach materials for stakeholders to determine the best option. To achieve this goal, we first conducted key informant interviews with involved stakeholders to determine the best solutions to pursue.  We then created an in depth cost analysis of each solution that we utilized during our focus group presentation to local businesses/property owners. Finally, we engaged the 18 businesses to get feedback on our options and approach. The project resulted in an in depth look at how Boxborough could begin to solve its water issues, and facilitated a plan to keep the conversation about how to solve this problem happening.


Student Team and Advisors:

Our team is made up of four juniors from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

  • Michael McGoff: Mechanical Engineering ’20
  • Katie Vasconcelos: Biochemistry/Professional Writing ’20
  • Spencer Vinson: Mechanical Engineering ’20
  • Jake Wisniewski: Management Engineering ’20

Our project was advised by two Co-Advisors:

  • J. Scott Jiusto, Global Studies
  • Glenn R. Gaudette, Biomedical Engineering

Project Sponsors:

Our project was directly sponsored by the MassDEP and the MassDOT.

Sponsors from the MassDEP include:

  • Robert Bostwick, Drinking Water Program
  • David Boyer, Wastewater Program
  • Marielle Stone, BWR

Sponsors from the MassDOT include:

  • Laurene Poland, Salt Remediation Program

Project Deliverables:

Collaborative Drinking Water Options for Boxborough Presentation

Collaborative Drinking Water Options for Boxborough Massachusetts