Due to new water storage capacity, Bethel is no longer drawing water from its two older reservoirs. 100 percent of the town's water needs are supplied by wells. First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says this delivers much cleaner water and substantially reduces the need for chemical sanitizing treatments.
The Chestnut Ridge water tank was certified for service by the state Department of Public Health and began delivering water to Bethel homes in December. Knickerbocker says the Bethel Water Department is delivering water that exceeds all government safety standards, and at a cost that ranks in the bottom third of all water suppliers in Connecticut.
The Chestnut Ridge water tank, combined with the new Eureka tank, constructed in 2016, gives Bethel a total storage capacity of over 1.2 million gallons. None of the costs for the upgrades are paid through Bethel tax dollars and have no direct impact on the town budget. The capital improvement program is paid solely through rates paid by water customers. Financing is provided through grants and low-interest loans from the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
The new tanks are part of Bethel's 20-year capital improvement program to upgrade the town's public water system. The water department has invested over $12 million dollars in upgrades, replacing over 15,000 feet of water mains, replacing pumping stations at Hoyt's Hill and South Street, installing generators at several pump stations to ensure consistent service during power outages, and installing a new pumping system at Briarcliff Manor.