In recent decades, the Newton Upper Falls landmark has become a place to jog or just take in the views - or listen to your echo - but with today's water emergency, the state reactivated the aqueduct the "bridge" was built for in 1877.
More Sudbury Aqueduct photos, from its start in Framingham to the gatehouse that lets it flow into the Chestnut Hill Reservoir.
Score! The kidlet finds a six-pack of Aquafina hidden behind a basket in the depleted water aisle at the Hyde Park Shaw's around 6:30 p.m. It was so bad people were resorting to seltzer. But nobody seemed to be going for the "nursery water" over in the baby-food aisle.
People were calm and nobody said anything to the lady who seemed to be buying enough water for a small town, but we're beginning to get reports of anger in the aisles elsewhere.
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:
The Boston Fire Department reports 320 gallons of number 2 oil leaked out of a tank at the Deer Island sewage plant around 9:30 p.m., but that all the oil was "contained in the protective area made for such leaks."
The Coast Guard reports a valve malfunction at an MWRA facility in Cambridge let 2,000 gallons of Number 2 heating oil drain out around 3:45 this morning. About half that is in the building; the rest flowed into the River, where a contractor is now attempting to contain and clean up the spill.
Says so right here on the Internets, so it must be true. The Enviromental Working Group spent three years building a database of municipal water supplies, and says Providence has the second cleanest, bestest water in the country behind only Arlington, Texas. Boston (more specifically, the MWRA, which serves much of the Boston area) came in fifth out of 100 cities (so not too shabby):
EWG rated big city (population over 250,000) water utilities based on three factors: the total number of chemicals detected since 2004; the percentage of chemicals found of those tested; and the highest average level for an individual pollutant, relative to legal limits or national average amounts, including for the most common pollutants (disinfection byproducts, nitrate and arsenic).
So either Providence has grown recently or Providence Water serves more than just Providence.
Via John Ford.
The Bulletin has details on how a Canadian company will help the MWRA determine the best way to upgrade a seven-foot-wide sewer under West Roxbury and Roslindale: Two inspectors will be lowered into the large pipe near the Ohrenberger School - one to inspect the conduit's condition, the other to help get the first guy out in the event of any trouble.
The MWRA this week awarded a contract to an Edmonton company to figure out the best way to renovate an aging sewer main through West Roxbury, that is, a different aging sewer main than the one that forced years of traffic disruption along the VFW Parkway.
The West Roxbury Tunnel, seven feet in diameter, runs 2 1/2 miles from the VFW Parkway (near the McDonald's - and near the start of the Upper Neponset main under the VFW Parkway) under West Roxbury and Roslindale before emptying into another main at Hyde Park Avenue. The tunnel - which carries waste from as far west as Framingham - was bored through rock and is at some points 220 feet underground.
MWRA spokesperson Ria Convery says it's way too early to say if the project will involve major digging, because that will depend on how the MWRA decides to renovate the tunnel. She said the authority currently doesn't plan to begin work until 2012, leaving plenty of time for public hearings on the project, which currently has an estimated cost of $80 million.
Ever wonder what the inside of a sewer looks like? Some photos from inside the West Roxbury Tunnel.
The AP has been busy, finding lots of drugs in people's water. Sadly, Boston is on the list of cities that don't test for this stuff. Look on the bright side; you could live in a city run these morons:
Arlington, Texas, acknowledged that traces of a pharmaceutical were detected in its drinking water but cited post-9/11 security concerns in refusing to identify the drug.
The MWRA is enlarging the sewer that runs under the VFW Parkway. And that means blasting. And apparently, the best time to do some blasting and heavy construction is 3:15 in the morning. Ed Symkus wearily reports:
... [T]wo nights ago, close to midnight, my windows started rattling again. Last night, the windows rattled around the same time, then at 3:15 - yes, I'm talking about 3:15 A.M. - the banging started - make that clanging - REALLY LOUD CLANGING - metal against metal. Do these people think we're stupid? Do they think they can tell us it won't happen again, then sneak one - or two - by us? ...
The hula trees of West Roxbury.