Attleboro working to clear dirty water
By George W. Rhodes, originally posted on September 27, 2016
ATTLEBORO – Badly-discolored water plagued residents in the vicinity of Holcott Drive for more than 24 hours from Monday night through Tuesday, prompting the water department to send a crew out to flush the mains Tuesday night.
Acting Water Superintendent Paul Kennedy said the discoloration came from switching from a small pump to a larger pump at the Wading River Treatment Plant in Mansfield.
The change increased the speed of the water in the pipes, causing sediment to get stirred up, which in turn caused the discoloration.
While the water looks bad, it doesn’t present a health hazard and is drinkable, he said.
However, residents should avoid washing clothes to prevent staining until the water is clear, he said.
The switch in pumps has been made in the past without causing discoloration, catching workers by surprise this time, he said.
“For whatever reason, it happened this time. It wasn’t expected,” he said.
When the city conducts hydrant flushing, a similar situation can occur, but in those cases residents are notified ahead of time.