Reservoir Watershed Warning
Janet Moran, Precinct One, Lexington, MA, July 18, 2000

I am a town meeting member in Lexington, Precinct One and I have been actively involved in protecting my neighborhood from potential flooding and pollution due to the fact that the Lexington Christian Academy (LCA) plans to build a massive addition onto their existing school.  The Lexington Christian Academy is located at the end of Bartlett Ave. in Lexington. The Arlington Reservoir could be affected.

Let me explain: The Lexington Christian Academy is built in the Wetlands. It was built before the Wetlands Act was passed. The school is surrounded by water on three sides. One of the bodies of water is the Munroe Brook [sometimes called North Brook] that flows into the Arlington Reservoir [see Great Meadows Map and Res Area Topo Map].  It is also built in a hundred year flood plain. This area is subject to massive flooding because it is the catch basin to Whipple Hill.  As you are aware, Whipple Hill is a very steep hill.  In times of heavy rain the bottom of Bartlett Ave catches the storm water run off. In 1996, we had a large amount of rain which flooded our neighborhood.  We had raw sewage that filled the street and backed up into some neighbors' homes. When this area gets flooded the excess water continues to flow down into the Arlington Reservoir. Hence...a potential health issue for Arlington residents.

The present plans for LCA is to have a roof run off the is a half acre in size. The total foot print is approximately 33,000 sq ft. A roof is an impervious surface. The size a weight of the building alone will only force the water into surrounding areas. (Our neighborhood and homes and the Arlington Reservoir). They also plan to have a sewer pumping station under the parking lot which I personally don't understand how that could be because they want to lower the existing parking lot by 2 inches to act as a catch basin for all this water. How can you have a sewer pumping station under a parking lot that is going to be used to hold water?  The school has cut down almost every tree in the area to make their soccer field.  Between the size of this structure and the parking lot there is no more Wetland. Only common sense makes you wonder where all this water will go.

I could go on and on but don't have the time right now.

The present situation is that the neighborhood has filed an appeal with the DEP and we have been ordered to have the two engineering firms meet.  The judge delayed out a couple of issues that he would like us to focus on.  One of them is the potential flooding to the bordering vegetative wetlands and the other is riverfront issues.

I think it would behoove the town of Arlington to stay interested in this issue.

Janet Moran
Precinct One
Lexington, MA

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