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Scituate car accident causes brown water for residents

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  July 15, 2013 11:52 AM

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Scituate residents will have brown water after a minor car accident shut off power to the water treatment plant Monday morning.

Water Department staff said the plant was off when they got into work at 7 a.m. on Monday due to the nearby accident.

The power was turned back on at 8 a.m., but because there was a disruption in the flow of water through the aging pipes, a lot of sediment in the pipes has been stirred up.

“It will probably affect most of the people in Scituate. It will have to run its course through the water mains. It depends on how many people are drawing from the water mains,” said Heather Santosuosso, senior clerk at the Water Department.

Though discolored, the brown water is not a health issue.

The discolored water is caused by tuberculation, or iron and manganese growths along the inside of the cast-iron pipe.

Both minerals are naturally found in water and built up inside the pipes after over a century of use.

When the water flow is disrupted in the pipes, pieces of the growth break off and make the water appear brown.

Though people can technically drink the water and bathe in it, residents are advised to check the color before doing laundry, as it can stain clothes.

“Run the outside hose 15 to 20 minutes,” Santosuosso said. “If it doesn’t clear, wait and try it again later.”

Meanwhile, police said the cause of the accident that shut off the power is still under investigation.

According to police, the car went off the road near the Widows Walk Golf Course and hit a utility pole. No one was injured and though power was cut, the utility pole had only minor damage.

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