Scituate: Selectmen have plan to remove brown water

Scituate residents crowded Town Hall Tuesday night holding plastic bottles of iced tea, or so it seemed. They actually held bottles of Scituate tap water. Twenty-four miles of very old cast iron water mains collect rust that flows into the water with summer high demand, and it flows through nearly the entire system.

DPW director Al Bangert presented three options to selectmen to fund engineering to replace the 24 miles of pipe. Selectmen voted unanimously to raise water fees, among the lowest on the South Shore, by 10 percent beginning in August to fund an engineering solution to the problem.

Some residents said the water had to pose a health hazard. Bangert said the town and state test the water regularly and, while the brown water stains laundry and sinks and tastes like rust, the tests have not detected any threat to health.

Bangert also recommended a three year plan to eliminate the problem – replace the old mains. Selectmen held a vote on that plan until after the engineering is complete.

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About Charles Mathewson

Charles Mathewson worked in print journalism for more than two decades as a reporter and editor, and has won several regional and national awards. He resides in Plymouth where he writes fiction and paints, when not producing award-winning news as a reporter for WATD.