GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – During a press conference on Thursday, city leaders wanted to make one thing abundantly clear: the drinking water is fine.
“Our drinking water was safe when this happened, it’s been safe throughout and we’re constantly testing,” said DPW Director Marlo Warner.
He said water has been restored to virtually all homes. Now the focus is on getting the Rocky Mountain tank back online by the end of next week. Warner said on Wednesday they had to close the tank down after coliform was found. Werner said one hatch showed signs that groundwater got in, they then opened up 3 or 4 hydrants to relieve potential backpressure.
Then on Thursday, the first and most significant water main break occurred on Arch street.
“Now that the tank wasn’t online, it drew water away from higher points and that created- I will not use the word negative pressure,” said Warner. “We did not have negative pressure in our system. We lost water pressure. We lost water in our pipes but there wasn’t enough pressure to push it through the faucets.”
A series of water main breaks and leaks followed. Warner said they continued to do testing ensuring the water’s safety. Mayor Wedegartner said they have 103 miles of water and sewer mains, more than a third are 70 to 100 years old. She said grants are being used to repair some, but more funding is needed.
“To do it all at once would be very expensive this is why I am stressing how important it is congress gets its act together and pass an infrastructure bill,” she said.
The DPW director said if you’re seeing discoloration in your water to call DPW at 413-772-1528, ext. 6107.