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Boil water order lifted in Springfield, schools open

Water faucet in a kitchen sink.
Elizabeth Román
Water faucet in a kitchen sink.

Para leer este artículo en español, haga clic aquí.

The Water and Sewer Commission in Springfield, Massachusetts, has lifted the boil water order for the city Thursday morning.

Officials said bacteria sample results from water throughout the distribution system in Springfield and Ludlow came back negative.  

The water order was issued Tuesday night after a large water main broke in Springfield off of St. James Avenue, spilling some 10 million gallons.

That dropped the water pressure low enough to pose a bacterial contamination risk, officials said.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno called it a "challenging situation that was caused by the wash out from all the extreme rain and flash flooding we’ve been getting," he said in a prepared statement.

School was cancelled on Wednesday, but resumed Thursday morning.  Many businesses also closed for the day on Wednesday.

"We understand that this difficult decision inconvenienced many, but it was made out of an abundance of caution," Sarno said. "The public health and wellbeing of my residents and businesses is my number priority. I want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding.”  

Jaimye Bartak is a spokesperson for the commission. She said there may still be some discoloration, but the water is safe to use.

"If people want to eliminate discoloration from their homes we advise them to flush their taps for 10 to 15 minutes with cold water and if it hasn't passed then, continue to do so until it has," she said.

Bartak said repairs on the water main--and the culvert where it was placed, located near St. James Avenue in Springfield — are ongoing. She said there's not yet a price tag on how much the fixes will cost.

Residents with further questions or concerns about the notice should contact the Commission’s Emergency Response Manager, Bob Weaver at: (413) 310-3449 or bob.weaver@waterandsewer.org. Customers can also reach the Commission at info@waterandsewer.org.

NEPM's Adam Frenier contributed to this report.

Elizabeth Román edits daily news stories at NEPM as managing editor. She is working to expand the diversity of sources in our news coverage and is also exploring ways to create more Spanish-language news content.
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