By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Some Shrewsbury residents have recently noticed an increase in dirty and brown water because a primary drinking water well pump is currently not working.
“Unfortunately a week or so ago our Sewall Number 4 Well seized up and went offline and we are in the process of having that well extracted from the count, rebuilt and repaired so we can get it back into operation,” explained Town Manager Kevin Mizikar town at the June 23 Board of Selectmen’s meeting.
He noted that the well is one of the town’s highest-producing and its output is hard to replicate in other wells. Further, they are limited by the amount of water that they can withdraw from the Home Farm Well Field.
As such, the town has experienced several days of tight limitations on water. On average, they extract about 3.6 million gallons of water per day.
“Given the heat and extra water usage over the last week we are averaging nearly five million gallons a day,” he noted. “When we take a high-producing well out of commission during that time it really strains the system.”
The Water and Sewer Department is working with the well pump vendor to determine the schedule for when the Sewall Well pump will be repaired and returned to service.
In the meantime, Mizikar urged residents to limit any unnecessary outdoor water usage.
The town website offers the following outdoor water use guidelines and restrictions:
Nonessential outdoor watering hours are restricted to before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. only on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Residents with even numbered addresses are limited to nonessential outdoor water use on Wednesdays and Saturdays; residents with odd numbered addresses are limited to Thursdays and Sundays.
Nonessential outdoor water uses subject to mandatory restrictions include the use of automatic lawn sprinkling and irrigation systems; washing of vehicles – except in a commercial car wash or as necessary for operator safety; washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks, except as necessary to apply surface treatments such as paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement or cement.
“This is a serious matter especially if we have a situation where there is a house fire or a brush fire that would break out in the very dry conditions,” Mizikar stated.
Last, he apologized to the community for any adverse water quality issues that residents may have experienced.