Discolored Water in Millis? Report It Right Away, says DPW

J.D. O’Gara
Issue Date: 
March, 2019
Article Body: 

If you live down on Village Street in the vicinity of Birch Street in Millis, you may have experienced some discolored water. What gives?
Millis DPW Director Jim McKay says the problem, which should be cleared up by now, involved about 20 homes.
“It has to do with the new water main installed on Main Street. The final installation happened (in the fall),” says McKay. He explains that a 200-foot section of a 4-inch main, one that tied into an 8-inch pipe laid in the 1990s, needed replacement. That 8-inch pipe is connected to the new main, which is a bigger, 12-inch pipe.
“There’s rust in pipes all the time, and it usually settles,” says McKay. The new 12-inch main is gushing from Well 3, pushing sediment from that 8-inch pipe. “The remedy is, we’ve been going out and flushing it when we get calls from residents. It’s a natural state—it just has to settle down.”
McKay stresses that residents should report problems right away.
“At first, what happened was we thought it was one resident having a problem. We would flush the hydrant in front, and we thought it was something in her house – and the town plumber found it was a problem with the town.”
It wasn’t until a number of complaints were posted on the Millis Public Forum Facebook page that the DPW became aware it was a more widespread issue.
“The way to settle it, to clear it up, is to do a high velocity flushing of the hydrant,” said McKay, in early February. Weather had cleared enough that the department began doing the flushing, and hopefully, he said, weather would cooperate enough so that by the time this article was published, all would be clear.
“The town goes out and flushes twice a year, usually in spring and the fall. We usually try to do all different areas of the town, but we did not do that part of town last year, because they were still working on the water main in October. It will be the first area we do in the spring, and we try to get it done before the water ban goes into effect from May to September.”
Again, Millis DPW Director stresses that any residents experiencing problems with their water should alert the department right away. You can reach the Millis DPW at (508) 376-5424.