WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Healthy Land, over a hundred years ago, Henry David Thoreau wrote a letter posing a question still relevant today: "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" This naturalist foresaw the importance of protecting our earth to protect ourselves. Nothing speaks to the interdependence of nature and humans more than the water that sustains us. Do you know where your drinking water comes from? In Weston, more than 90 percent of residents get their water from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) system that supplies 61 metropolitan Boston communities, 2.5 million people, and more than 5,500 large industrial users. Weston's water originates in the Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown, Massachusetts and, through a series of intricate tunnels, makes its way to town. The remaining Weston residents get their water from private wells. The overwhelming majority of Wellesley's drinking water comes from the town's nine wells that tap into the Waban Brook and Rosemary Brook aquifers, with virtually all the rest purchased from the MWRA. A very small percentage of Wellesley residents depend on private wells for their water. How you care for your property affects the quality of your water supply as well as the health of your family and community. That's because runoff from rainwater and melting snow flow from your yard through storm drains and into sand, bacteria, oil, and other pollutants as it runs off lawns and paved surfaces and into storm drains and water bodies including the wetlands, streams, and ponds that make up our watershed. We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 3 The Natural Resources section of the Town of Wellesley 2007-2017 Comprehensive Plan identifies pollution from stormwater runoff containing pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals from private landscape management practices, as well as oil and grease, as the greatest threats to water quality in Wellesley. Logically, a priority of Wellesley's National Resources Commission (NRC), the only elected conservation commission in Massachusetts, is to encourage adoption of non-toxic, organic lawn-care solutions. A recent town survey conducted by the NRC reveals that about 50 percent of respondents reported use of a professional lawn 126 LITTLEMACPRODUCTIONS / DREAMSTIME.COM surrounding streams and ponds. This "stormwater" picks up lawn fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, litter,

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