Category Archive Uncategorized


Rate Hearing for Calendar Year 2024

At its September 16, 2023 meeting, the PIWD Board proposed the following rates for 2024:

  • The water service rate proposed is $775 per connection, annually, up 3.3% from 2023’s rate of $750/connection. This is an additional $12.50 per semi-annual bill.
  • The proposed tax rate is $.59 per $1000 of assessed property value, down from 2023’s rate of $.76/$1000. This reduced rate is expected to result in revenue substantially similar to that collected in 2023, taking into account the revaluation performed by Portsmouth.

No other changes to PIWDs rates or fees were proposed.

PIWD’s proposed 2024 budget will be available later this month.


Invitation To Bid On Treatment Project

The Prudence Island Water District (PIWD) is seeking sealed Bids for the Water System Chlorination and Pretreatment project. In general and without limitation, the work to be done under this contract includes the construction of a drinking water treatment plant including but not limited to furnishing and installing; precast concrete building and foundation; site preparation, grading, and restoration; yard piping, fittings, valves, hydrant, and appurtenances; infiltration basin; a packaged greensand pressure filtration system; backwash supply tank and pump; process piping and valves; pumps; chemical feed systems; instrumentation and controls; facility HVAC and electrical; start-up and performance testing.

For details, see the bid invitation.


Cross Connection Control Survey Inspections In Progress

To keep our water supply clean, it is important that there are no “cross connections”, or places where contaminants can enter the piping system. The “Cross Connection Control Survey” inspections are a search for any such entry points, and are therefore an important step toward ensuring our water stays clean.

The State Department of Health requires the Prudence Island Water District to have licensed inspectors complete cross connection control survey forms for all customer premises. As we are a bit behind schedule (only about a third of the inspections have been performed to date), we will be making a significant effort to get inspections performed this summer.

Thank you for your help and cooperation!

How Are Inspections Scheduled?

If your property needs to be inspected, or if you are not sure if you need an inspection or not, please fill out our web form. If you cannot fill out the form, you may email us at [email protected] or call the office at 401-683-0011 and leave a message about scheduling your inspection, and we’ll get back to you.

When Will Inspections Be Performed?

Inspections will be performed on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, starting in May and extending through the summer. Weekday appointments may be possible depending on staff availability.

Does The Customer Need To Be Present?

The inspector needs access to various parts of the water service line and plumbing and may have recommendations, so it is best if the customer is present.

Who Will Perform The Inspection?

Inspections must be performed by a licensed surveyor. Depending on availability, inspections may be performed by System Operator Will Capron, Susan Andrade, or licensed professionals provided by the Rhode Island Rural Water Association.

What is a Cross Connection Control Survey And Why Are We Doing One?

A cross connection control survey is a process of examining a water supply system to identify any potential points where contaminants could enter the clean drinking water. This is important because it helps ensure that our water stays safe and healthy to drink.

The main benefits of a cross connection control survey are:

  1. Protecting public health: By identifying and eliminating potential contamination risks, the survey helps keep our water free of harmful substances, bacteria, and viruses.
  2. Maintaining water quality: Ensuring that clean drinking water remains separate from contaminated water helps maintain high water quality standards.
  3. Regulatory compliance: Many places require these surveys by law to ensure water systems meet safety guidelines.

What Information Does The Survey Inspection Collect?

The inspection form records:

  • The owner name and address
  • Whether the property is residential or commercial, and if it requires non-interrupted service
  • If there is a curb stop on the service line
  • The installed and recommended type and location of backflow prevention devices
  • If there is a drain back valve, and if so, the location
  • Presence of any boilers, solar heaters, fire suppression systems, etc. that are connected to the public water supply
  • Whether any other conditions exist on the property that pose a threat to the safety of the public water system.


2023 Election

2023 is an election year! The 2023 election will be held on Saturday, June 17, in the back room of the Union Church. Two Board seats are to be decided, those currently held by Robin Weber and Phil Brooks. As Phil is not eligible to run again, this is a particularly important election. See you at the polls!


Job Opening – Part-Time Water System Operator

The Board of Directors of the Prudence Island Water District (PIWD) in Rhode Island are seeking to hire a part-time water system operator for the PIWD water system. The water system utilizes three wells to provide water to the users and has one ground level storage tank. There are approximately 350 water customers on the system.

It is expected that this part-time position will be approximately 8 to 12 hours per week at 4 hours per day
minimum. This position could be for just two weekend days depending upon the arrangements that can
be made.

The position responsibilities will require regular interfacing with the public and other PIWD staff. In
addition to operating a water system, the position will include assisting with a water main flushing
program, a gate valve turning program, regular site work such as grass cutting and brush removal,
building maintenance (painting and cleaning), curb stop installations, water main pipe repairs and
installation, snow removal as well as other tasks as necessary.

Ideally, the applicant will have their Rhode Island Grade I Water Distribution, and Grade I Water Treatment
system operating licenses, however PIWD will train the right individual and that individual will have 12
months to obtain their licenses. The hourly rate is between $21 to $25 per hour dependent on
qualifications. Response time to call-outs must be 30 minutes or less during the daytime shift while the
individual is on Prudence Island. They will be responsible to carry a cell phone for normal and emergency
contacts. If the individual does not reside on PI, and has already taken the ferry back to the mainland after
their rounds of duty for the day, and they are called out on the cell phone for a water “situation”, they shall immediately contact the General Manager for direction.

Please submit your resume with three references to:
General Manager
Prudence Island Water District
PO Box 93
Prudence Island, RI 02872
or email to [email protected]. (401-683-0011).


Rate Hearing for Fiscal 2023

The Prudence Island Water District will hold a rate hearing on November 19, 2022, at 11am. The PIWD will present the proposed 2023 budget, which it used at the October meeting as the reasoning behind the proposed new rate of $750 annually per connection. (The proposed tax assessment of $.76 per thousand remains unchanged from 2022.) Interested persons will then have an “opportunity to present data, views, and arguments”, as per charter and bylaws.

Those unable to attend may send comments or questions to our Treasurer, Ann Marie Lockwood, or budget subcommittee member Chuck Bear, and we will do our best to present them at the hearing.

Members of the public wishing to comment on other PIWD matters may, as usual, take advantage of the public comment period at one of our board meetings. The next board meeting will be held later on November 19, at 1pm in Hope Brown Center.


Video Recording of Public Meeting: Treatment Project and Environmental Assessment

First, thanks to all 14 members of the public who attended this meeting. There were many good questions asked about the treatment project (diagrams), the environmental assessment, and our plans to improve the distribution system. For those who missed it and would like to see the video, our engineering firm has hosted it here.

Those who still have questions and comments may continue to send them to H2Olson Engineering or the Prudence Island Water District through the end of October, 2022. Additionally, when the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) posts the final Environmental Assessment, they will accept public comments for 30 days.


Board Vacancy; 2023 Will Be An Election Year

The Prudence Island Water District expects to hold its regular election in June of 2023, with two of the five board seats on the ballot. As Helio Melo resigned from the board last month, there will not be two incumbents to re-elect.

The board feels that ideal candidates would have some familiarity with the current state of PIWD projects, typical board business, and other affairs, but notes that no members of the public are regularly attending meetings. We would encourage anyone interested in joining the board to attend meetings, talk to our members, and ask questions.

The board has used its authority to temporarily appoint Phil Brooks to the seat vacated by Helio. Phil brings significant experience and has served the board well in the past. Sadly, he no longer meets residency requirements and would not qualify for election in June, so we’re hoping the public can help us find promising new candidates. Identifying people who will learn the background and “hit the ground running” would be of great benefit to us all.

October 17 Update: The PIWD board has confirmed with the State Board of Elections that appointing Phil Brooks to serve until the next election was well within its authority granted by state charter (as well as the PIWD bylaws). Section 4.a. of our charter reads, in part, “Any vacancy that may occur in any of the aforenamed offices shall be filled by some person to be chosen by the other members of the board to hold the office until the next regular meeting”. In addition, the board firmly believes that appointing Phil Brooks, an individual with a long history of service on the board and extensive professional experience, served the public interest better than leaving the seat vacant. It is also worth mentioning that the board appointed Phil unanimously and without any reservations expressed. However, as we had heard rumors that some were dissatisfied with this move, perhaps on the basis that Phil is no longer a resident or customer, we requested that Phil abstain from voting at our October meeting until we had checked with the relevant state officials. Now that we have done so, we are confident that Phil can continue to serve the Board as a full voting member until the next election.


Notes on Private Water Well Drilling On Prudence Island

We understand that our customers are frustrated with the pace of progress on water quality issues (as are we), and that this has led to some interest in the drilling of private wells. Please know that the Prudence Island Water District board has an engineering plan in place to solve the issues in the coming year, and that funding has been secured so that this can be done at minimal expense to ratepayers. It is a long journey, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, so investment in private wells is not worth it.

Drilling Private Wells Is A Bad Idea

Construction of private wells is expensive, there is ongoing maintenance, and the outcome is likely to be worse than using the public water supply. Many private wells on Prudence Island suffer from high iron and occasional bacterial contamination, but PIWD sources will soon be treated to solve these problems. We also have redundant wells, a large supply tank, backup generators, and everything required to keep water flowing in emergencies, whereas private well owners do not.

Drilling Private Wells In An Area Supplied By A Public Water Supply Is Often Against The Rules

According to the Rhode Island Plumbing Code, new wells can only be installed in areas that are not already served by a public water system. In many lots on Prudence Island, it is also not possible to meet setbacks from property lines or septic fields, and to follow other important regulations and guidelines. Homeowners intending to install a private well should first acquire a permit from the Town’s Building Inspection Department to ensure that a well is allowable for their location and proper well placement is possible on their property.

What Is Being Done?

While the PIWD has a limited resources and authority to police private wells, we are obligated to protect the public water supply, to enforce necessary conservation measures, and to ensure that inhabitants have safe water. You can’t live in a house without a water supply, so residences that are disconnected from our distribution system are reported to the town. In accordance with state law, the town will require a well completion certificate and water quality test results to ensure that an appropriate water supply is available, or the property will be condemned. We will be requesting the same completion and quality records from the Town as this information is useful for understanding the location and quality of water sources on Prudence Island, and for monitoring the watershed.


Notice of Public Meeting – Prudence Island Water District Environmental Assessment

A Public Meeting will be held on Saturday, October 15, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Hope Brown Center located at 0113 Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Prudence Island, RI. The meeting is being held to inform the residents of Prudence Island and customers of the Prudence Island Water District regarding the Prudence Island Water District’s proposed Public Water System Chlorination and Pre-treatment Project. A draft Environmental Assessment for the project has been completed for the construction of new water treatment and disinfection facilities to be located at the Indian Springs and Army Camp well sites. Attendance and public feedback are welcomed and would be appreciated.

Any written comments or questions may be sent to the PIWD; please use the addresses on our contact page.

While the topic of this special meeting is the Chlorination and Pre-treatment Project, members of the public interested in commenting on other matters are, as usual, welcome to do so during the public comment period at a regular PIWD meeting. The next regular meeting will be held later the same day, October 15, 2022, at 1pm, also at Hope Brown Center.