Residents of one Massachusetts community were hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren’s request for the EPA to investigate the safety of the town’s often discolored water supply might help, but the water woes have continued.
"It’s like apple cider and sometimes it even gets darker like root beer," said Norton resident Eddie Shaw. "I’ve started to call the place Flint – Flint, Massachusetts."
But after Tuesday’s first meeting between the town, the DEP and the EPA, some residents felt insulted that the water department’s response was to post a notice explaining water flushing, saying, "We hope that this notice will help eliminate issues due to ongoing flushing in Norton."
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"It’s not just during the flushing time though and I don’t think that I’m the only one that believes that," said Norton resident Cathy Bechtel.
"We’re just sick of it, it’s just, it’s not doing anything," added Shaw.
Norton Water Superintendent Bernie Marshall says his department was just following the EPA’s request that they provide customers in the affected areas with specific information on a more regular basis.
"We’re doing our very best at what we can do to try to mitigate the situation at this point," said Marshall.
Marshall says he’s just as disappointed as the residents that the water treatment facility slated to go online in 2015 was delayed until 2019, after Native American artifacts were found on the site.
"We’re going forward to do a temporary fix," said Marshall, "…until we can get that treatment facility built and up and running."
Marshall says that temporary fix could include getting water from surrounding towns, and in the short term the town will likely set up free water stations.
"That should be up and running I’d say within the next two to three weeks," said Marshall.