By: Tim Studebaker
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – Susan Arseneau of Woonsocket describes her water on Wednesday morning as “like a muddy brown.”
Woonsocket residents were caught off guard Wednesday morning when they turned on their water to find brown water flowing into their sinks, toilets, and showers.
Arseneau says, “My husband couldn't brush his teeth before he left for work this morning because the water was all brown. Who wants to put that in their mouth?”
Businesses were affected as well, including the restaurant Al's Place.
Albert Bernier, owner of Al’s Place, says, “When people know that the water's brown, they don't want to even drink coffee.”
He went on to say he would have liked to have known ahead of time that this might happen.
Bernier says, “I never expected it. If I had known, I would have come prepared yesterday instead of having to struggle today buying bottled water to cook.”
The city says they put an announcement in the local paper saying they would be performing pressure testing with the help of an engineering firm, but the dirty water came as a surprise to them too.
They were able to test half of the city on Monday night without any problems.
Woonsocket’s Water Division Superintendent, Marc Viggiani, says, “We did the other half of the city last night, and it wreaked havoc and we got all the phone calls in the morning.”
Viggiani says while the water is unsightly, it isn't dangerous, and with time it will clear up.
He adds that the city is going to tackle the problem with the engineering firm to try and keep this from happening again.
As for the next time the city plans something like this?
Arseneau says, “Maybe if they put it on a Facebook page or something like that, people would get it.”
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