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News/Events - Meeting Minutes
WATER COLOR AND FLAVOR, July 6, 2012
TOWN OF SCITUATE MASSACHUSETTS
WATER COLOR AND FLAVOR: The combination of two events has caused a "pondy" flavor and a tinted color in Scituate's water.
What Has Caused The Problem?
#1 - The unusual rain pattern in June (gushing downpours) has caused a lot of water runoff from the forests and grass lands into the reservoir. Ordinarily the snow melt moves this material through the watershed in March and April. Because we had virtually no snowmelt this Spring, these naturally occurring forest-floor materials did not work their way through the streams, ponds and rivers to the sea. Now, in June the 4X average rainfall has pushed this material directly into the surface water supply. The raw pond water is darker and has a musty, forest-floor like flavor. The Treatment Plant at the 3A roundabout removes as much of these components as possible. The slower we run the plant, the better job it does at reducing color and improving flavor.
#2 - Unfortunately we are experiencing extremely high usage of water in the past 10 days. This pushes the Treatment Plant to the limits of its capabilities. While we can keep up with the overall demand for water, we have had to rely upon 20% more water from the Old Oaken Bucket Pond.
What Are We Doing About The Problem?
#1 - We have slowed down the Treatment Plant to improve its effectiveness at reducing color and flavor components.
#2 - We have opened hydrants in strategic locations to help tap-off the musty tasting water.
#3 - We are asking residents to help by reducing the usage of water for non-essential purposes. Please help by delaying outside uses as much as possible.
It may take up to a week for the musty water to be completely out of the system.
How Can This Be Avoided In The Future?
#1 - We continue with the program to replace aging rusty pipes.
#2 - We are pursuing two alternatives to expand the volume of water we can get directly from well sources and thereby reduce the amount of water from Old Oaken Bucket Pond.
Both of these involve the continued re-investment of capital in the water supply and distribution systems.
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