Customers of the Great Barrington Fire District Water Dept. recently received a notice headlined, "Important Information About Your Drinking Water" followed by the subheading "Great Barrington Fire District Does Not Meet Treatment Requirements". As you might imagine, that raised a few eyebrows. As it tums out, it's simply a case of bureaucratic red tape and semantics.

Water Superintendent Pete Marks told the Berkshire Edge that the water supply is just fine. The problem is that the State recently changed its regulations for chlorinated systems like Great Barrington's, making chlorination part of the "treatment" instead of the "distribution" system category, and requiring a treatment operator with a 1T license. And while the dept. has several licensed distribution operators--including himself for 22 years--they've had no licensed primary operator for treatment services. Until now.

Once Marks found out about the non-compliance issue he and others on staff applied for the 1T license.  He took the test and found out April 6 that his license was approved by the state Board of Operators of Drinking Water Supply Facilities, a division of the Division of Professional Licensure. It's not official though until Marks has the license in hand and apparently either the "Board" or the "Division" got backlogged, because he's still waiting.

But feel free to draw a tall glass from the (water) tap & toast the Great Barrington Fire District Water Dept. and its perfectly fine product.


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