UPDATE: BOIL ORDER LIFTED
As of Wednesday 11/14, the Worcester boil order has been lifted, and it is once again safe to use city water again. Officials have tested that water and found that no bacteria is present in the water and that the water had been disinfected with chlorine, as per usual. If you have not been running your pipes, be sure to open the cold water tap and let any trapped air or discolored water out.
Monday afternoon a water main on Chandler St in Worcester broke, resulting in the lack of potable water for the entire city of Worcester. A 30″ water line directly off from a 40″ main line experienced a significant break to the point where shutting down the system was the only way to repair the damage. The break was repaired Monday night, but Worcester residents are encouraged to boil their water until water testing can be completed.
Residents Take Care
Although the water line has been repaired, it will still be several days before the city’s water is back to normal. While the city’s water was not contaminated, the loss of pressure means that the water may not be potable and residents will need to take precautions to stay safe. Until the city can check the water system residents will experience low pressure, rattling pipes and discolored water.
Worcester residents should boil and cool water for drinking/cooking, babies, pets, or brushing your teeth. Due to discolored water, it is not a good idea to use your washing machine. Until the city declares that your water is safe, keep your cold water taps on to help let out backed up air. Do not leave your hot water tap on, as it will draw rusty water into your hot water tank.
Down the Line
Some of the original water mains built in 1870 are still in service in Worcester. With a resource as vital as water, it is important to maintain infrastructure to ensure a widespread outage can’t happen. It is estimated that American water infrastructure is in need of a $1 trillion upgrade, which means that your water bill will likely be going up. Water infrastructure in America needs to be improved no matter the cost so that we never have to face a widespread water crisis.
As Worcester residents continue to boil their water we are reminded at just how devastating the loss of water to a community can be. It only takes a second for a water main to rupture but the impact lasts far longer, as we saw with the Boston Water Emergency of 2010. American water infrastructure needs to be repaired and maintained at a higher standard to create more jobs and prevent water catastrophes in the future.
Waiting For Water
You can get full developments and water reports from the city of Worcester at their website. The boil warning is currently extended until Wednesday the 14th, but make sure to check the updates from the city. Water disasters like the one in Worcester show the need for repair to American water infrastructure.