TWI hosts ribbon-cutting at Tisbury’s new water testing lab

Harriet Barrow, Tisbury Waterways Inc. (TWI) board vice president, officially opened Tisbury’s new water-testing laboratory in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday.

The lab is located at the town’s wastewater facility on the department of public works (DPW) grounds off High Point Lane.

The ribbon-cutting event included brief remarks from laboratory director John Grant, laboratory technician Louis Hall, and Martha’s Vineyard Commission water quality planner Bill Wilcox.

The ceremony preceded TWI’s 2010 annual meeting, at which Ms. Barrow was recognized as a “tour de force” in the organization as she stepped down as board vice president after 22 years.

TWI, a non-profit group dedicated to protecting Tisbury’s water resources, provided a substantial financial commitment to the town’s Department of Public Works (DPW) towards the water-testing laboratory and its state certification.

The lab serves the DPW’s need to test wastewater samples and TWI’s need to monitor the effects of rain runoff on water quality in swimming and recreation areas, DPW director Fred LaPiana told The Times in a previous interview. The local lab allows for more timely testing and cuts expenses for wastewater samples that previously had to be shipped off-Island for analysis.

On Monday the TWI board also presented a plaque to Ms. Barrow in appreciation of her longstanding commitment to the cause of clean marine waterways. The plaque will hang at the entrance to the water-testing lab, the creation of which the board credits to Ms. Barrow’s vision and persistence.

The board also recognized her hard work in establishing TWI’s water-testing program, which has become integral to water quality mitigation efforts in Tisbury.

As a testimony to her dedication, members recalled that Ms. Barrow often went out in the middle of storms and in the dark to take water samples.