Greenfield has FOUR rivers in the area! The Connecticut, the Deerfield, the Green, and the Falls Rivers, as well as Maple Brook. These rivers are a source of recreation, drinking water, irrigation for crops and power, and they carry many memories of our heritage from Native American fishing grounds to industrialization. All this water also means we have lush vegetation, many wetlands, which are environmentally sensitive, and many wet basements!
Our drinking water comes from three sources:
1) a reservoir in Leyden;
2) the Green River; and
3) three wells in the northern part of Town.
The water is pumped to a holding tank (or gravity fed in the case of the reservoir in Leyden) on the ridge near Poet Seat Tower. From here, it gravity feeds into our homes. The waste water then continues down hill to the sewage treatment plant on the Deerfield River off Deerfield Street near the golf course. The Greenfield DPW does an excellent job maintaining this system. You can find Town reports on water quality and more at their Web site.
Waste Water Treatment. Our waste water treatment plant is on the Deerfield River off of Deerfield Street. It is an energy efficient state-of-the-art facility, but it is vlunerable to flooding, as demonstrated in 2011 when Irene hit us.
Vulernabilities and issues: As noted above, our waste water treatment plant is vlunterable to flooding. If the holding tank near Poet Seat Tower was incapcitated in some way, we would loose access to our drinking water. Maple Brook dumps dirty water and trash from our storm drains into the Green River. Some homes have sump pumps that dump water into our sewer system and overburden it. As of 2013, this will be illegal. Pumping water uses a lot of energy, so reducing water use is an important goal. Many homes use inefficient toilets (ones that use more than 1.5 gal/flush), washing machines, and water faucets without airators on them.
Several non-profits work to protect our water, and the watersheds that feed our rivers.
The Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) is headquartered on Bank Row in Greenfield and holds an annual clean-up day and much more!
Deerfield River Watershed Council (DRWC) offers hikes, monitors water quality, and offers trainings about our watershed. Friends of Green River is an active chapter of the DRWC.