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Water Department: Irrigation system activity may be contributing to water discoloration

by | Oct 12, 2023 | Featured: News, News

The Water Department on Thursday morning announced that some of the water discoloration the town has been experiencing over the past two weeks may be related to irrigation systems set on automatic timers.

“We think this latest issue may be related to the amount of irrigation systems that are still on and programmed for the regular Wednesday and Friday watering schedule, causing a large draw of water in the early mornings stirring up that section of the system,” Water-Sewer Department Manager Eric Carty shared in a statement. “We believe it would be beneficial if you are able to turn off your irrigation systems until the permanent solution is able to be implemented.”

He added that hydrants in areas affected by water discoloration “have been running clear as of this morning.”

“If you are still noticing some discoloration, please check to see if it is in the cold water line,” advised Carty. “If it is, you may need to flush your internal cold lines. If it is in the hot water only, you may need to flush that line and the hot water tank if you have one.”

This update is the latest in a series over the past two weeks. Periodic water discoloration was first reported on Sept. 27, when the Alprilla Farm wells were in operation. The wells were turned off two days later, and area hydrants were flushed.

On Oct. 5, a power outage in the area of the Eversource LNG facility affected the Ashland water treatment plant that provides water to Hopkinton, causing it to rapidly turn off and on.

“When the water goes off and on like that, it stirs up sedimentation in the pipes,” explained interim Fire Chief Gary Daugherty in an interview with the Independent on Oct. 11. “That was the cause of the black water.”

For Water Department updates, visit the town’s website.

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