Aquapocalypse: Greater Boston residents told to boil water as six-year-old aqueduct fails
UPDATE: 10 p.m.: The state says workers have stopped the leak in Weston but that it could be "days at a minimum, we're hoping not weeks" before the boil-water order is lifted. ... If you have water-related questions, you can call 211. ... The state has posted an FAQ, including answers to questions about such things as giving babies baths and whether dishwashers and automatic coffee machines are safe. ... Map of Boston neighborhoods (yes, Allston and Brighton are part of Boston).
Boil that water until further notice, the MWRA warns:
A BOIL WATER ORDER IS BEING ISSUED FOR DRINKING WATER FOR ALL MWRA COMMUNITIES EAST OF WESTON UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. ... MWRA is activating its emergency water supplies such as the Sudbury Aqueduct, Chestnut Hill Reservoir and Spot Pond Reservoir. THIS WATER WILL NOT BE SUITABLE FOR DRINKING, but can be used for bathing, flushing and fire protection.
According to the state Department of Environmental Water, this means bringing "the water to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute." If you go out to eat, do NOT drink fountain soda - unless you're going into Cambridge, which has its own water supply separate from the MWRA.
The MWRA adds:
The leak is located at the location where the MetroWest Water Supply Tunnel meets the City Tunnel on Recreation Road. This 120-inch diameter pipe transports water to our communities east of Weston – as far north as Wilmington and south to Stoughton. Water is leaking into the Charles River at rate of over 8 million gallons an hour. MWRA crews are on site; engineers are assessing the situation to determine next steps.
The Boston Police Department held over officers from the day shift so they can begin driving around the city notifying residents of the emergency order over loudspeakers.
List of affected communities:
Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Boston, Brookline, Canton, Chelsea, Dedham, Everett, Lexington, Lynnfield Water District, Malden, Marblehead, Marlborough, Medford, Melrose, Milton, Nahant, Newton, Norwood, Peabody, Quincy, Reading, Revere, Saugus, Somerville, Stoneham, Stoughton, Swampscott, Wakefield, Waltham, Watertown, Weston, Westwood, Wilmington, Winchester, Winthrop, Woburn.