'Boil-water' order issued for 2 million in Mass.
A major pipe bringing water to the Boston area has sprung a "catastrophic" leak and is dumping eight million gallons of water per hour into the
Charles River. Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency and issued a "boil-water" order for Boston and dozens of other communities.
"The water is not suitable for drinking. ... All residents in impacted communities should boil drinking water before consuming it," he said at a
news conference this afternoon.
Patrick said the state had asked bottled water companies to make more water available in the state and emergency drinking water supplies could also be
made available to the affected communities through the National Guard.
"I ask everyone to check in on elderly or vulnerable neighbors," he said, and he asked people to avoid "unnecessary use of water, such as washing
cars and lawnwatering."
The break is in a 10-foot-diameter pipe on Recreation Road in Weston, the authority said in a statement.
"That is a catastrophic break and we are currently activating the reserves," said MWRA spokeswoman Ria Convery. MWRA officials said nearly two
million people would be affected in 30 cities and towns.
People flocked to stores to buy bottled water when they heard the news. In Lexington, an hourlong run on water cleared a supermarket's shelves. In
Boston, Mayor Thomas M. Menino declared a state of emergency and took a number of steps to inform residents, including reverse 911 calls and sending
officers into the streets with bullhorns. Downtown restaurateurs declared the boil order a major inconvenience.
The failed tunnel connects the MetroWest Tunnel to the much older City Tunnel, as water flows east through the suburbs from reservoirs in central
Massachusetts towards Boston, officials said.
MWRA Executive Director Fred Laskey said the leak began between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. today and the pipe continued to break until it failed
Read the rest from Boston.com
[edit on 1-5-2010 by TrainDispatcher]