MSH Did You Know – #2

Did you know that for the first 70 years of operation, the Medfield State Hospital had its own dump?  This practice was common in Massachusetts until the advent of stricter waste disposal regulations in the 1970’s.    Anything from coal and incinerator ash, broken crockery, to construction and demolition debris were dumped into the site adjacent to the Charles River. The dump grew to cover 3.2 acres and was up to 12 feet deep, and contained over 40,000 cubic yards of contaminated fill.

After three years of challenges by Medfield to the state’s original partial cleanup of the site, a year long mediation between the State and representatives from Medfield resulted in the State agreeing to an appropriate restoration of this environmentally unique and sensitive area.  This remediation will have many benefits, among them the restoration of 5 million gallons of flood storage along the Charles River, the restoration of wetlands and wildlife habitat, the removal of the waste from under groundwater and from the zone of influence of Medfield’s primary well, and improved public access for the area.