Shrewsbury officials offer update to community on water woes

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Robert Tozeski (left), Shrewsbury Water & Sewer Superintendent and Shrewsbury Town Manager Kevin Mizikar at Shrewsbury Media Connection
Photo/Melanie Petrucci

By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury Town Manager Kevin Mizikar and Water and Sewer Superintendent Robert Tozeski recently appeared on a local cable show to update the community on ongoing water issues in town.

“I want to take the opportunity to inform the residents of the efforts we are taking to reduce the sediment and brown water issues that are continuing in town,” Mizikar noted, April 2, just before taping a segment on Shrewsbury Media Connection.

“We have moved into our hydrant flushing phase and manganese is no longer coming out of the plant. We are now in the phase of cleaning all the mains out which is a little bit disruptive,” Mizikar reported. “It’s the only way to get it out and to reduce sediment issues in the future so we need to take the several weeks over the spring to continue our cleaning process.”

Mizikar asked Tozeski a series of prepared questions. He opened with how well the new water treatment plant was operating.

Tozeski shared that the primary purpose of the new plant was to remove the manganese which has so far has been successful.

“We are basically at zero,” Tozeski said. “Any problems that we have in the system we have to address at the source and the town has taken that initiative.”

When asked why residents are still seeing sediment in their water, Tozeski replied that water was being put into pipes that are 100 years old where manganese and sediment had built up over decades. Because of the new biological chemistry being used to treat the water, the environment and interior of the pipes is being affected, causing sediment to flake and slough off.

Depending on where residents are in the system, especially if closer to the treatment plant, such as Main Street, Holden Street, Old Mill and North Quinsigamond Avenue, there will be a propensity to see higher amounts of sediment.

Flushing needs to be done in a unidirectional and strategic fashion, working from the water source outward. Hydrants cannot be randomly opened; some areas might need more than one flushing. The best time to flush is in the spring and fall when the flow of water is best.

Tozeski said that while they strive to get all the sediment out there will always be tiny flakes remaining. Also, while they flush, sediment will be stirred up and might take about 48 hours to settle.

“We really appreciate residents’ patience and we know it’s been a long process… We now have installed a new treatment plant and we are no longer introducing manganese into the system,” Mizikar remarked. “We are going to do our best to get it all done this spring but we may see some lingering problems throughout the summer and into 2020.”

For more information, visit the Water & Sewer page on the Town of Shrewsbury’s website; https://shrewsburyma.gov/287/Water-Sewer-Division.

To view the segment on Shrewsbury Media Connection, visit http://home.townisp.com/~spacmac1/SMC_Video_Player/Video_Player.html.