Athol water wins statewide recognition

  • Members of Athol's Water Department were on hand for the most recent meeting of the Selectboard to celebrate the town's second-place finish in the Massachusetts Real Water Taste Test competition. Left to right: DPW Assistant Director Paul Raskivetz, Jennifer Shaw, Bob Hughes, DPW Director Dick Kilhart, Dave Craven, Matt Bardsley, Bill Sykes and Rob Bergquist. Standing next to Kilhart is Town Counsel John Barrett. For the Athol Daily News/Greg Vine

  • Athol's Water Department received the second-place trophy in the annual Massachusetts Rural Water Taste Test competition held annually by the Massachusetts Rural Water Association. For the Athol Daily News/Greg Vine

For The Athol Daily News
Published: 9/22/2022 9:17:47 AM
Modified: 9/22/2022 9:17:08 AM

ATHOL — Athol Public Works Director Dick Kilhart attended the Tuesday, Sept. 20, meeting of the town’s Selectboard to do a little bragging. Attending with Kilhart were members of the Water Department.

Before participating in some well-deserved boasting, Kilhart and Assistant DPW Director Paul Raskevitz placed blue glass bottles on the board’s desk and poured some refreshment into the glasses that had been placed before each board member.

“We took water from here in Athol,” he began, “and participated in the Massachusetts Rural Water Taste Test competition, and we were awarded second place. The water that you see in your glass here tonight came from that location here in Athol, from Adams Drive.”

The awards are handed out each year by the Massachusetts Rural Water Association. First place went to the town of Hardwick.

“It’s just an accomplishment that we would like to have you folks recognize — that Athol has some really good water, some really good folks that deliver that water to you. And I think you’ll agree when you have a sip.”

Kilhart then asked that his co-workers be recognized and lauded for their efforts on behalf of the town. As members of his team moved to the front of the meeting room, Kilhart referred the board to an annual newsletter posted on the town’s website — The Waterwise Newsletter — that gives resident information regarding the town’s water quality.

“As you can see,” he said, “it’s posted on the town website but is also posted in public locations. It tells you what is in our town water supply. But Athol has some pretty good water and we’re happy to provide that to you.”

Kilhart then introduced each member of the Water Department to the board, adding, “I’m really happy to be a part of that team.”

Town Manager Shaun Suhoski then offered a toast using, of course, the glasses of water that had been provided.

“To the guardians of our water supply,” he began, his glass lifted high. “Congratulations. We wish we had a bigger room for all of you, but we owe you a debt of gratitude. You folks do a great job. It’s nice to see that your supervisors recognize that and bring it to me and my supervisors here so we can all share the good news.”

Anyone interested in seeing the annual report can go to

Greg Vine can be reached at

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