Drinking Water: Experts, federal and state officials speak about the Plymouth Carver Aquifer

  Meg Sheehan 

Find recent rulings from federal, state and local officials and expert reports about the Plymouth Carver Sole Source Aquifer here

All recommend steps to protect the Sole Source Aquifer-we can do better!

Overview: Professor David Boutt, U Mass geohydrologist speaks at CLWC Earth Day Webinar, 2021

Learn about how the aquifer works.


Watch the webinar Available here on You Tube at Minute 39:37.

More about Professor Boutt: David Boutt is a Professor of hydrogeology in the Department of Geosciences at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. David Boutt provides expert commentary on issues related to groundwater and hydrology. He has been featured in publications including the Boston Globe and ScienceNews. Boutt’s work focuses on how water becomes groundwater and the sub-surface processes that impact it along its journey. This includes understanding how groundwater contributes to streamflow generation and springs. He also works to understand how much water is available for a region at a given time in geologic history and where the source of this water is located. About David Boutt

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tells Plymouth Airport to study Sole Source Aquifer, drinking water wells

On January 8, 2024, the U.S. EPA directed the Plymouth Airport Commissioners to redo their environmental study to address potential damage to public and private drinking water wells and the Aquifer. Read the letter here.

Massachusetts’ top environmental official tells Plymouth, AD Makepeace Co. to study Sole Source Aquifer, drinking water wells

On December 22, 2023, the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) ruled that Plymouth’s environmental study for the expansion of the Camelot Park Wastewater Treatment Plant did not adequately study impacts to drinking water wells. See the states ruling in the MEPA Certificate here. Search for “Aquifer” in the document.

On March 8, 2024, EEA flagged concerns about AD Makepeace Cranberry Co.’s developments in Plymouth, Carver and Wareham on the Aquifer and other Damage to the Environment. The MEPA Certificate describes concerns about the role of forests in maintaining water quality, protecting streams, and preventing erosion (page 10). Read the Certificate here.

Scott Horsley, world recognized hydrologist and Harvard University instructor reports and testimony on the Plymouth Carver Aquifer

Find Mr. Horsley’s reports about the risk of sand mining to the Plymouth Carver Sole Source Aquifer here:

  • Link here to Horsley testimony that AD Makepeace sand mining on and in the Plymouth Carver Aquifer Federal Road threatens private and public wells, river, Aquifer in Carver and Wareham, 2022
  • Link here to Horsley report to Town of Kingston that proposed sand mine on and in the Plymouth Carver Aquifer in  threatens town wells, March 2024
  • Link here to Horsley report that SLT Construction sand mining operation threatens public and private wells in and around Carver, February 2022
  • Clear cutting forested buffers around solar sites and other developments threatens water quality:

Gary James, Professional Engineer expert testimony

  • Link here to James’ testimony that sand mining operation in the Plymouth Carver Aquifer on Meadow Street in Carver threatens private and public drinking water wells, surface water including risk of cyanobacteria contamination, July 2023

Town of Kingston Water Commissioners and ReslienceCE report 

The Water Commissioners hired ReslienceCE to review a proposal for a sand mine. In January 2024, the expert and the Commissioners all said deny the permit because it will “negatively impact” the town’s drinking water wells that get water from the underground aquifer. Read the Water Commissioners’ letter and the ResilienceCE report here:

On March 12, 2024, Kingston denied the permit. Read more here.

Plymouth Carver Aquifer Legal Designation by EPA, 1990

Find the federal law here.

Plymouth Carver Aquifer Final Action Plan Report, 2007

Find the Plan here.  All seven towns participated. Plymouth, Carver and Wareham promised to take steps to protect the underground aquifer. They report recommended laws against sand and gravel removal within four feet of the Aquifer. It cites to state laws that prohibit mining in the Aquifer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *