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Old 05-01-2010, 07:38 PM   #1
briv
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Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

Big run on bottled water in Boston tonight. Just came from the local grocery store where the bottled water section was picked clean, much to the disappointment of the fearful crowd spilling out of the aisle.

From the Herald:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boston Herald
?Nightmare? water break affects 2 million in Bay State
By O?Ryan Johnson, Marie Szanislo and Renee Nadeau | Saturday, May 1, 2010 | http://www.bostonherald.com | Local Coverage

Photo by John Wilcox
A catastrophic water break put 2 million Bay Staters under emergency conservation and boil orders in 38 communities this afternoon.

?This is everyone?s worst nightmare in the water community,? said Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Executive Director Fred Laskey. ?It?s very important we handle this right.?

The constraints were mandated by state officials after a massive water main break in Weston began dumping eight million gallons an hour into the Charles River.

?We have a catastrophic failure in a 10-foot diameter pipe,? said Laskey. The breach occurred where the Metrowest tunnel connects to the city tunnel.

The initial failure happened around 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. and as of 5 p.m. ?is now in the process of catastrophically failing,? Laskey said.

?This is an unprecedented event of this magnitude and at this critical juncture in our water supply system. It is highly unusual and catastrophic in nature,? Laskey said.

Authorities are switching to a backup system, but the water provided to the Hub and other affected towns is not suitable for drinking, state officials said. A boil order is immediately in effect for all residents east of Weston, north from Stoughton and south from Wilmington.

Officials do not anticipate being able to access the affected pipe until 10 or 11 tomorrow morning, and were unable to say how long it will take to repair the damage.

Anyone who ingests contaminated water may suffer nausea, diarrhea, cramps or headaches, according to the Department of Environmental Protection. Infants, young children, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems are more at risk of illness.

The National Guard is being mobilized to distribute bottled water, officials said at an afternoon press conference at the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Fire officials say the MWRA will shut down the Hub?s main water supply and switch to a backup system of reservoirs in order to supply the area while workers repair the damage. Officials said there will be water to supply hydrants, but the water is not safe to drink.

?We are telling all of our firehouses to boil the water before drinking it,? said Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald. Public health officials were scrambling to address any potential hazards posed to the city?s most vulnerable populations.

?We?re trying to get organized ourselves,? said Barbara Ferrer of the Boston Public Health Commission. ?We are coordinating with the hospitals.?

Boston police said all officers on the day tour were held over to handle any problems that may arise from the water shortage and boil order.

The city?s restaurants will not be closed, but they will need to boil any water used in food preparation or for public consumption.

?I want to make perfectly clear, restaurants in the city of Boston will be open tonight for business,? Mayor Thomas M. Menino said at the press conference.

Dunkin? Donuts is telling franchise owners that if they cannot abide by the state?s boil-water order, they should close.

?We have a standard boil-water procedure that our Q&A team has for situations like this one,? said Dunkin Donuts spokesman Andrew Mastrangelo. ?We have activated that in the Boston area. We advise them to stop using the plumbing and to begin bringing boiled water or bottled water in so our stores can remain open. If they cannot, we ask the stores to close.?

Mastrangelo said the stores must boil the water before it is used to make hot coffee or ice for cold drinks.

Calls and e-mails to Starbucks public relations were not immediately returned.

For more information about the boil water order, please go to http://www.mass.gov/dep/water/drinking/boilfaq.htm

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/reg...icleid=1251647
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:58 PM   #2
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

The local star market in Cambridge is out of bottled water and seltzer water (go figure)...I picked up a case of beer to get me through the catastrophe.

It irks me that people are stocking up on bottled water when boiling treats the water just fine.
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:24 PM   #3
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

I got a text message about it at work at 5 via Blackboard because my college uses it. Glad I got that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crash575 View Post
It irks me that people are stocking up on bottled water when boiling treats the water just fine.
Been thinking the same thing.

Boil some each night, fill up some old bottles or reuse some of those big gallon jug things and stick it in the fridge or something...
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Old 05-02-2010, 02:48 AM   #4
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonUrbEx View Post

Been thinking the same thing.

Boil some each night, fill up some old bottles or reuse some of those big gallon jug things and stick it in the fridge or something...
Sometimes I wonder how civilization survived 20 years ago, never mind 100.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:51 AM   #5
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

Question for the urban development history buffs:

How did Cambridge end up with a different water supply? Where do they get there water from?

Also, though I try not to be a germaphobe, showering in what the MWRA is describing as 'similar to untreated pond water' leaves me with a slightly not-so-fresh feeling.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:11 AM   #6
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

http://www.cambridgema.gov/CWD/watershed.cfm



Anyways, I don't see what's so bad about pond water this time of year, could be worse! What pond is it? Is it still coming from the Quabbin or not?
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:51 AM   #7
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

The water is still coming from Quabbin and is treated in Marlborough. The problem is that the MWRA is using the Sudburry Aqueduct. The Sudburry Aqueduct begins at the Sudburry Reservoir and is only used in emergencies. The water then flows to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and the Spot Pond Reservoir both of which are above ground and only used in an emergency.

The fact that the treated water has to go through three open reservoirs makes it unsuitable for drinking (even though it uses what was once the only way the MWRA got water here.)

http://www.mwra.com/01news/2010/maps/mwrawatermap.jpg

The news has said that the Hultman Aquaduct (offline since 2003) is undergoing major repairs to reinstate it as a true back up. This would end the problem of above ground storage in an emergency.
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Old 05-02-2010, 02:01 PM   #8
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

According to boston.com the effects of drinking the unsafe water is, "for most people, minor gastrointestinal illness."

So they're saying it'd be like eating fast food...? Fuck it, I'm tired of waiting for my boiled water to cool down, I'll take my chances.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:13 PM   #9
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

Cambridge gets its water from reservoirs in Lincoln and Waltham. If you've ever driven out Route 2, you've seen them. Fresh Pond is an intermediate stop for the water before it gets treated and pumped up to a covered storage tank in Belmont.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:20 PM   #10
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe


http://missgordon.com/
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:23 PM   #11
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

Haha, suck it Boston, Cambridge had no water problem and raked in the cash from people desperate for coffee/ice.

Serious question: coffee shops couldn't boil the water they were going to use to make hot coffee with anyway?
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:47 AM   #12
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

Some did, but many of the systems drew tap water into a filter without any way to intercept it for boiling first. One DD franchise went out and bought an army of household grade coffee makers into which they poured bottled water.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:39 AM   #13
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

I heard the ban was lifted in every town but Saugus. ...I live in Saugus. God friggin' dammit.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:40 AM   #14
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

^^Just a slight delay. You're all set now.

Well, you still live in Saugus, so you're not all set, but your water is ok at least.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:44 AM   #15
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

Ah, ok, good...

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Originally Posted by statler View Post
Well, you still live in Saugus, so you're not all set
lmao, too true.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:54 AM   #16
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

Now the question is, when does the first lawsuit get filed and against who?
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:49 AM   #17
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

My tummy hurts! I must not have been warned enough.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:44 PM   #18
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Re: Boston Metro Water Catastrophe

There's a report that the water was clean enough to drink the entire time. Boost the sales in water though.
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