Water Treatment Project - South Grafton

    If you've traveled along Route 122A in South Grafton, in the last year or so, you may have wondered why there's a small
    greenhouse in the recently created park between the road, the Blackstone River and the Blackstone Canal. When I was in
    the area today (December 2, 2012), Nicholas Bernat, who's  the site manager, was there and showed me around and
    explained the job. The canal, just a few feet north of the greenhouse, is contaminated with various pollutants from the
    Fisherville Mill that stood across the road until it burned down in 1999. The poster at the top of the page explains what is
    being done in the greenhouse to break them down and improve the water quality.

    Here's part of an article on the project from the Worcester Telegram.

    The idea is mechanically simple but biologically complex: Pump in contaminated water from the Blackstone Canal, filter it
    through a series of tanks with enzyme-generating mushrooms and bacteria-producing aquatic plants and animals, and
    release that “inoculated” water back into the canal to clean the water downstream.

    An Eco-Machine created by Woods Hole scientist John Todd, funded by part of a $671,000 grant from the U. S.
    Environmental Protection Agency to clean up the former Fisherville Mill site, began operating in May and has already
    demonstrated a 90 percent reduction in industrial petroleum hydrocarbons as well as a reduction in nitrogen and
    phosphorus — common pollutants from storm water — as water goes through the treatment process.

    Overlooking a peninsula along the Blackstone Canal where the Fisherville Mill, which burned in 1999, leaked sludge-like No.
    6 fuel oil for a century from underground tanks, the Blackstone River Integrated Water Quality Improvement Project, as it's
    formally called, looks like a horticulture project with a greenhouse and lush landscaping. Click here to read the entire article.