November 17, 1997

A work session of the Jamestown Town Council was called to order in the
conference room of the Jamestown Philomenian Library, 26 North Road, at 
8:20 PM (following the meeting of the Board of Water and Sewer
Commissioners) by Council President Craig A. Amerigian. The following
members were present:
William H. Murphy
Fred F. Pease
Ellicott Wright
(Councilor David E. Dolce, Vice President arrived at 8:28 PM)

Also present were:
Frances H. Shocket, Town Administrator
Theresa C. Donovan, CMC, Town Clerk
Steven J. Goslee, Public Works Director
Betty Hubbard, Planning Commission Chair
J. Christopher Powell, Conservation Commission Chair
David Butterfield, Groundwater Quality Study Committee Chair
(Absent: Quentin Anthony, Esq., Town Solicitor)

As well as Anne I. Veeger, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of the Department of
Geology at the University of Rhode Island, and graduate students Jennifer
Sandorf, W. Abrahams-Dematte and Scott Michaud.

Groundwater Quality Study Committee Report

This work session was scheduled by unanimous vote of the Council during
its regular meeting on September 22.

Dr. Veeger distributed her report and reviewed the scientific study and
findings as they pertained to nitrate concentrations, coliform bacteria
presence, chloride concentrations and iron concentration.
     Probable sources of contamination include septic leachate,
fertilizer, septic and fertilizer combination, saltwater intrusion, and
unknown nitrate source; lawn and garden fertilization are easy to correct,
usually the result of overfertilization or fertilizing at the wrong time
of the year.
     The areas currently impacted by septic and fertilizer leachate were
identified, as were those impacted by saltwater intrusion and those with
potential for contamination/intrusion; larger lot sizes translate into
better water quality.
     Fractured rock has water contained in just a few fractures compared
to other communities on the mainland.
     Unbuildable lots will become buildable under ISDS regulations.

  a) Establish groundwater/wastewater management district for the north
  b) Town officials should attend ISDS training course to learn about
current technology (URI)
  c) Planning Commission must no longer rely on RIDEM ISDS regulations as
a zoning tool
  d) Installation of sewers is not a viable solution in the north end;
pumping wells removes water from the freshwater lens; most of this water
is returned to the freshwater lens via septic systems; sewer installation
would be effective mining, resulting in thinning the lens and increasing
the risk of saltwater intrusion
  e) The Town should provide educational materials to homeowners with
septic systems and wells.

The impact of one municipal well is difficult to say; a computer model is
being developed and studied; the more wells that are put in in that area,
the greater the impact and that is more of a concern; measuring area wells
will be important, as will periodic measurement of chloride concentration;
wells closer to the coast might experience problems if the well is used
extensively over time.
     Cycling the municipal well allows for recharge.
     Regarding the municipal well just south of the north pond reservoir,
most of the water coming in is from a depth of about 150 feet, which is
good; it recovers quickly.
     The Town should have some sort of monitoring system in the wetlands
if you want to preserve them.
     The Town can institute controls (ordinances) to require alternative
septic systems that do not compromise the existing water quality.
     My opinion is that a significant amount of the water coming from the
municipal well is in fact coming from the north pond reservoir; an isotope
study would clarify that; tracer studies are currently being performed,
and are somewhat reliable.
     Wells affected by nitrates from overfertilization can recover in a
couple years by reducing fertilizer applications.
     We analyzed for phosphates and found almost none, which is good.
     The Town should require well drillers to file reports with the Town
(not just RIDEM).
     The Town should also pick wells throughout the island to monitor
annual fluctuation, and not just around the municipal wells, with monthly
measurements at a minimum, with dense representation around the pumping
     The Town may want to invest in water level recorders, and also drill
monitoring wells to compare with existing wells where use may vary.

In addition to Council members and local officials, the following
individuals addressed Dr. Veeger:

Lisa Tyre, 238 East Shore Road        Sue Barker, 31 Stanchion Avenue
Emmet Turley, 409 Seaside Drive       William Brennan, 238 Narragansett
Hazel Turley, 409 Seaside Drive

There being no further business before the Council, the work session was
informally adjourned at 9:46 PM.


Theresa C. Donovan, CMC
Town Clerk