Environmental Consulting & Engineering Services - from Concept to Reality

Case Studies


Winchester Country Club Irrigation & Water Supply Improvements

For more than a decade, ESS has provided the Winchester Country Club with comprehensive environmental consulting and engineering services to support the Club’s routine maintenance and long-term capital improvement projects.  These services included a significant and comprehensive irrigation and water supply improvement project.  



ESS began the irrigation and water supply project with a feasibility evaluation to assess the Club’s water demands and existing water supply and delivery system. A subsurface exploration program was also conducted to evaluate potential expansion of an existing pond for irrigation water storage. ESS then presented the Club’s Board of Directors with a series of concepts, including irrigation wells and lined detention basins with pump systems, with a focus on selecting the most cost-effective, long-term solution.    

Technical Studies

During the local permitting process for installation of a water supply well, concerns were raised regarding potential adverse water quality impacts due to contaminated sediments that were identified in the Aberjona River and the Upper Mystic Lake. Ten years prior, significant concentrations of heavy metals had been identified by an MIT sediment quality study. ESS reviewed the US EPA Baseline Human Health Report for the Wells G&H Superfund Site Aberjona River Study, modeled the hydraulic impact of the Club’s proposed groundwater withdrawal, designed and implemented a sediment and surface water sampling program, and completed a fate and transport assessment of identified sediment impacts. The results demonstrated that existing contamination within the sediments would not adversely impact the quality of the groundwater pumped by the proposed water supply well.  

Engineering & Design

Existing conditions that may constrain the layout, design, or permitting of a project are important to identify upfront. ESS engineers developed permitting-level plans as well as final construction plans to support dredging and lining of the existing pond, installation of the water supply well within a vault on adjacent, privately-owned property, and installation of a 0.5 mile long waterline and associated utilities connecting the well to the storage pond.  ESS also designed access for the drilling company to install the water supply well that included access across multiple private properties and use of a temporary bridge for a stream crossing.  Project engineering design support also included siting of the proposed pump house, design of the wet well and flume structure, temporary diversion of a stream, reconstruction of a parking lot, and coordination with the irrigation consultant. 

ESS also developed the bid package, reviewed construction bids, and assisted with selection of the construction contractor once permits were obtained.

Permitting & Compliance

ESS assisted the Club in obtaining the following permits and approvals:  

  • Orders of Conditions from the Winchester and Arlington Conservation Commissions
  • MassDEP 401 Water Quality Certification (including Beneficial Reuse Determination for reuse of the dredged sediments on the golf course property)
  • Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act (MEPA) review

ESS also coordinated with MassDEP on the final issuance of the water withdrawal permit for the water supply well and helped determine that proposed work in the storage pond did not require a US Army Corps of Engineers 404 permit since it was a manmade pond on a golf course.  

Inspection & Monitoring

Permit compliance required the relocation of certain aquatic species prior to construction and field oversight during the construction of wetland benches adjacent to the storage pond.  During construction, ESS acted as the Club’s representative by providing contractor oversight and engineering construction support.

ESS also provided post-construction monitoring and reporting services.  Post-construction, ESS performed biological monitoring to verify that the operation of the well was not adversely affecting aquatic and benthic species, monitored the water quality of the supply well’s discharged water for five years to verify the previous model predictions, and monitored the establishment of the wetland benches adjacent to the storage pond.  As part of compliance with the Orders of Condition, post-construction monitoring reports were provided to the Winchester and Arlington Conservation Commissions.

Outcome & Benefits

The irrigation and water supply improvement project provides the Club with a self-controlled, on-site water source for their landscaped and open space features that eliminates the reliance on, and associated costs of, using MWRA water for irrigation purposes. This project lead to a significant reduction in the Club’s annual costs for irrigation. ESS continues to work with Winchester Country Club on a variety of golf course facility management and capital improvement projects.