By Beth David, Editor
Residents in many parts of Fairhaven experienced discolored water over the weekend, and the town used the reverse 911 system to warn residents about the problem.
According to Public Works superintendent Vincent Furtado, a “computer glitch” caused the system to send water to the towers when they did not need water, and to stop sending water, when maybe it should have kept going.
The water supply comes from the treatment plant in Mattapoisett, which sends the water to the towers in various parts of Fairhaven. From there, the water is distributed through pipes to individual buildings.
When the water level is low, a signal goes to the treatment plant and water is sent to fill up the tank.
Mr. Furtado said that the problem was not too little water, but too much. When the system sent water to the tank that did not need it, that stirred up iron and manganese in the tank.
The first calls came in from East Fairhaven, he said, which makes sense because that part of town is closest to the treatment plant.
The automated message, and a message on the town’s Facebook page instructed residents not to use the hot water.
Mr. Furtado said the water was safe to use for cooking and for drinking. The levels, he said, wer not high enough to be harmful.
The problem started on Saturday, and the town thought the problem was resolved, but then they got calls again on Sunday, from all different parts of town. That’s when they realized it was a computer glitch.
At any time, he said, if people had clear water, they could use it, including hot water, without worrying about any dangerous levels.
“If it looks awful, don’t use it,” he said.
The town advised against using the hot water because the iron and manganese could settle in people’s water tanks, and cause trouble later on.
“We didn’t want people to own this problem for weeks,” he said.
The problem has been fixed. Call 508-979-4031 to report discolored water in Fairhaven.
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