The Berkshire Eagle  reports with a load of state requirements coming down the line, Adams residents are likely to see a 15 percent increase in their water rates starting July 1.

"This isn't the state saying, `You should do this,' " said John C. Barrett, superintendent of the Water Department of the Adams Fire District. "This is the state saying, `You will do this.' "

Barrett said the "biggest raise for us is having to meet all the DEP [Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection] requirements."

Those requirements involve hiring specialists to compile a number of reports, including an asset management plan ($35,000), a 20-year master plan for the Water Department's infrastructure ($66,500) and an emergency action plan in the event that reservoir damn fails ($24,000).

Additional upgrades include an emergency response plan update in case the chlorination system malfunctions ($15,500), and operation and maintenance manuals for all apparatus used by the Water Department ($21,500).

Then there is the effort to replace every outdated water meter with new ones that can be read remotely at a cost of about $100,000.

Altogether, the cost of these upgrades comes to about $250,000, he said.

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