For Immediate Release: August 4, 1999

MWRA Mutt Mitt Team Scoops Employee Award

A beautiful lake in your neighborhood would seem like the ideal place to take your dog for a walk, unless the lake happens to be a public drinking water supply.

Enter MWRA's Weston Reservoir Maintenance Crew, who, on their own initiative, devised a plan so that recreational access to the Weston Reservoir could be matched with the need to protect public health.

Charles DeMeo of Waltham, John Ford of Quincy, William Gibson of Webster, Robert Plunkett of Brockton and David Smith of Waltham designed and cut a new walking trail outside the perimeter of the reservoir's watershed to replace the existing shoreline trail, which brought walkers and their pets too close to the water supply. In addition, they implemented a "pick up after your dog" program, providing "Mutt Mitts" at designated points along the trail along with trash cans. An informative flyer was also prepared to help pet owners understand the need to protect the water. Since the program began in July 1998, close to a ton of dog feces has been removed, substantially lowering the risk of high bacteria levels in the reservoir.

As the old trail is filling in with vegetation, the new trail has proven popular with the public. "The Weston Reservoir team has shown that improving the land for the public's enjoyment can be done without compromising the reservoir's water quality," said MWRA Executive Director Doug MacDonald.

On June 30, 1999, the MWRA Board of Directors presented each team member with the "1998 Employee Recognition Award for Excellence in "Performance." The award is given annually by an employee committee to those who have performed above and beyond their job duties. It is especially meaningful because it is recognition of a job well done by fellow employees.


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