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Broken pipe sends brown water to Scituate homes

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  October 22, 2013 12:30 PM

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Some Scituate residents are going into Day 2 of brown water, after work on a 40B condo complex off Stenbeck Place again burst a water main.

“Residents may again experience brown water,” Scituate officials said in an email to residents. “The Scituate Water Division is working on repairing the main and expects to complete the repair by late afternoon.”

Residents had to deal with brown water Monday after the developer hit a water main, jostling sediment inside the pipes and causing brown water throughout town.

"The people in the harbor area will get it the worst, but it’s floating all the way up Country Way and could easily make it to the west end," water department officials said Monday.

Developer Paul Marrocco said the breaks were unavoidable.

On Monday, the pipe was marked in town records in the wrong place and at the wrong depth, Marrocco said. Although crews had marked the pipe's location nearly five feet away, they came into contact with the main.

On Tuesday, crews were going under the old main to connect residents to a new water main, yet the 60-year-old pipe was so fragile that when dirt was moved around the pipe, it burst.

“We did the job to the best of our ability, but we cannot control when a pipe splits on its own,” he said.

Marrocco said there won’t be any future problems. Residents in that area have all been connected to a new pipe, and the old one will be abandoned.

“It’s completely shut off right now, and it will be abandoned and never turned on again, and [residents] will be on the new line,” he said.

The old pipe would have been shut off sooner; however, Marrocco said residents still weren’t entirely switched over to the new pipe, and he didn’t want to interrupt their water service.

Utility work for the Walden Woods development, which is building 21 condominium unit and seven below-market condos, has been ongoing since early August.

Marrocco said he spent $800,000 putting in all new water mains extending from Tilden Road and Stenbeck Place, approximately 1,400 feet of line.

Though there have been some disruptions, Marrocco said the town would be well served by the new pipe, which not only is free of sediment, but is less likely to break and also is bigger, giving nearby residents better water pressure.

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