Claims against cranberry industry, water supply 'irresponsible'

Apr 3, 2018

To the Editor:

Your newspaper recently published a letter to the editor which raised some concerns about the A.D. Makepeace Company and the impact of cranberry bogs on the town’s water supply.

Here are the facts:

Over a period of 15 years, more than 14,000 tests were conducted by the Wareham Fire District. Pesticides were detected in fewer than 3 percent of the results, with two specific chemical compounds detected more frequently than others. In all cases, the detections of these compounds were more than 10 times below the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) informal guidelines for these compounds. The Water District’s consultants found no discernible trends in the test results that would give reason for any concern.

In 2002, 2008, and 2016, the District asked the DEP to conduct independent health risk assessments of its testing data. Each time, the state reported no health risks, either individually or collectively, from the compounds detected.

Yes, it is true: the A.D. Makepeace Company did suggest to the Water Department that the $12.5 million cost of a new water treatment facility could be avoided if the district connected to our water system just over the town line in Plymouth. We see this as sensible regional solution that could save taxpayers money. It is unclear why the district chose not to pursue this solution.

This company has always been committed to being a responsible neighbor and an active supporter of the Town of Wareham, and will continue to do so.

More than a third of the A.D. Makepeace Company’s employees (including myself) and their families live in Wareham. Naturally, the letter to the editor caused some of them to be concerned about the safety of their drinking water. We can assure them, and your readers, that the statement that our bogs have been “scientifically identified as the primary source of the pesticides in our drinking water supply” is simply irresponsible.


Linda Burke

A.D. Makepeace Company