Several Mass. communities report days of water issues

It's been a headache for residents in Hingham, North Cohasset and Hull.

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Several South Shore communities in Massachusetts have been dealing with water issues for days that include discoloration.

It's been a headache for residents in Hingham, North Cohasset and Hull. Operators of the Weir River Water System (WRWS) in Hingham have said the discoloration in those communities is due to a significant change in water usage that affected the flow from the water treatment plant. The change in hydraulics stirred up sediment at the bottom of pipes and sent sediment and discolored water into the system.



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Saturday, local and state officials from all three towns had a meeting with representatives from Veolia, the contract operator for the WRWS, to get an update on the situation.

According to the Town of Hull's website, the event primarily affected areas served by the Turkey Hill storage tank. it was Wednesday that the tank experienced a sudden and significant drop in water levels, ultimately resulting in the discolored water throughout the system. At this time, it is reported that the tank is clear and back to normal levels. However, it will take additional time for the discoloration to work its way through and out of the system, which they acknowledge can be disconcerting.

"Unfortunately, Veolia did not provide a definitive timeline for how long this process may take," the town's statement read. "Veolia continues to maintain that the water is safe for washing and cooking."

Full mitigation of the discolored water is taking longer than originally expected, WRWS officials said, adding that the Veolia team continues to strategically flush hydrants to improve conditions and monitor the system.

Veolia has committed to providing a daily update each morning until the situation is resolved. WRWS said they are working to monitor and remediate the situation as quickly as possible. Anyone whose water remains discolored after Friday, June 21, is asked to contact customer service at 877-253-6665 or by email at

Additional water testing will occur on Monday, and Hull officials said they will make sure those results are made available as soon possible. In the interim, Emergency Management is working to obtain additional cases of water for expected distribution on Monday after they already ran out.

The Town of Hingham is also planning a third drive-through distribution of bottled water on Monday for any residents still experiencing discolored water at that time, and Cohasset has handed out water to affected residents in town, too.

The water has been problematic, particularly for those who own businesses. The owner of Schooner's, a popular restaurant on the beach in Hull, says it's been a long week. Conversation has shifted from the Celtics winning their 18th NBA Championship to brown water -- from toilet water, to cups and washing machines.

"People come in and say, 'is the water brown?'" Jacqulyn Greenleaf said. "It's been awful. Terrible."

Greenleaf has two little ones at home who need to bathe and customers to serve at Schooner's where she's a co-owner. They've been loading up on bottled water, soda water and all soft drinks. As of Saturday night, the running water from the faucet and the toilet water looked clear, but she says she's not taking any chances, adding that this has affected her business.

Greenleaf says no one from the town reached out telling her not to open, so she kept her doors open. On Saturday afternoon, the town manager posted on Facebook saying the problem started on Wednesday -- the hottest day of the year.

"On Wednesday, they said it would be fixed Thursday. And then Friday, Now, we're at Saturday," she said.

There's also a water ban in effect for outdoor use like washing cars, driveways and using sprinklers.

In Bridgewater, officials announced a full ban on outdoor water use through at least Monday. Town leaders say water tank levels are at their lowest in years. They say this is mostly from people in town using water during a ban for sprinkler systems and also for filling pools. Leaders are encouraging people to take shorter showers and only wash laundry when necessary.

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