A water pipeline that sprang a leak in Weston is spewing 25 to 30 gallons per minute, and engineers are trying to devise a strategy to fix it without disrupting the system that brings water to Boston, the head of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority said today.
"Obviously, the goal is to fix it with the system still on, and not have to shut it down," said MWRA Executive Director Frederick Laskey.
The leak in the 10-foot water main, which appeared late this morning, was about 75 yards from a major break this May that caused a 2 ˝-day drinking water crisis for the Boston area, Laskey said.
Laskey said it was possible the latest leak was somehow related to the recent rainstorm.
"It may not be a coincidence that we had 5 ˝ inches of rain. We don't know how it happened, whether it's been something that's been leaking all along and didn't surface until the rain, or whether the rain caused it. We don't know," he said.
Governor Deval Patrick said he had spoken to MRWA officials about the problem, which he described as “a small leak.”
He said workers are excavating to find the source of the leak and “it doesn’t compare, believe me, to what we dealt with a few months ago.”
The MWRA's preliminary analysis suggests the leak is the result of "a more customary problem,” with the water system, and it is releasing “the amount of water that would come out of your garden hose," Patrick said.
“But they have to find it and patch it,” the governor said. “So that’s what they’re working on now.”
MWRA spokeswoman Ria Convery said, "Right now, there are no service interruptions of any kind, but we are making ready our backup plans just in case."
A coupling connecting two major underground pipes bringing water east to the Boston area broke on May 1. The breach sent millions of gallons of water bubbling out of the ground and churning into the nearby Charles River.
The MWRA switched to backup water and nearly 2 million people were asked to boil water used for drinking or cooking for the next 2˝ days, until repairs were complete.
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