PROVIDENCE -- Voters will be asked in about two weeks to support a $10 million bond issue that would rebuild a water link for some residents and that would build more connections to the water supply system.
The issue is question No. 7 on the ballot. The election is Nov. 2.
The referendum seeks $5 million to rebuild the Shad Factory pipeline, a 6-mile water line that carries about 3 million gallons of drinking water from reservoirs in Rehoboth, Mass., to Warren, R.I. Supporters say the line is needed because it would ease pressure on the Scituate Reservoir, which supplies drinking water to 66 percent of Rhode Islanders.
''For nearly the last 100 years, the state of Rhode Island has been able to withdraw drinking water from two Massachusetts reservoirs, the Anawan and Shad Factory," said Pasquale DeLise, executive director of the Bristol County Water Authority. This was so until December 2003, at which time the Shad pipeline collapsed."
The pipeline is made mostly of cast iron, and has corroded as it has lain in wetlands and saturated soil. The Providence Journal quoted DeLise as saying the pipeline has deteriorated to the point that it must be replaced.
The other $5 million would go to building more water supply connections. Supporters say the initiative would help safeguard against interruptions in supply for emergencies such as droughts, fires, and broken pipes.
''We will be able to wheel water between the systems," Kathleen Crawley, acting general manager for the Rhode Island Water Resources Board, was quoted as saying in the Journal. ''
There are 49 proposed connections. Ten have been completed at a cost of $3.4 million.