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Water Line Break Wreaks Havoc

Boston residents must boil drinking water


Residents of Boston and 37 other communities are being advised by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) to boil water before using it for drinking, cooking, washing food or brushing teeth, after a major pipe carrying water to Boston sprang a leak and began dumping 8 million gallons of water an hour into the Charles River. Public drinking fountains on the Charles River Campus and Medical Campus should not be used.

The Office of Facilities Management and Planning is currently distributing more than 10,000 bottles of water in University dining halls, which will be kept open until 2 a.m., and 28,800 additional bottles will be available Sunday morning. The University has arranged for the delivery of 34,000 bottles of water per day. University officials emphasize the importance of conserving bottled water, and warn that hot plates should not be used to boil water.  Dining services will adjust its menus to use boiled water and students will use dining halls as place to get drinking water.

The MWRA reports that it is activating its emergency water supplies such as the Sudbury Aqueduct, Chestnut Hill Reservoir, and Spot Pond Reservoir. The state agency warns that this water will not be suitable for drinking, but can be used for bathing, flushing and fire protection. Officials say repairing the system will take several days, if not  longer.

The leak is located at the junction of the MetroWest Water Supply Tunnel and the City Tunnel on Recreation Road in Weston. This 10-foot diameter pipe transports water to communities east of Weston – as far north as Wilmington and south to Stoughton. MWRA crews are on site, and engineers are assessing the situation to determine next steps.

Click here to read more and see a list of communities affected. Click here to learn how to purify water.

Check back for updates on this story.


16 Comments on Water Line Break Wreaks Havoc

  • Anonymous on 05.01.2010 at 7:21 pm

    “Wreaks Havoc?” really guys? People are in total pandemonium here! Not.

  • Anonymous on 05.01.2010 at 7:37 pm

    Can I microwave my water to make it safe?

  • Anonymous on 05.01.2010 at 9:44 pm


  • Anonymous on 05.01.2010 at 10:14 pm

    Should we rewash anything that we had washed earlier in the day (afternoon, before all the warnings) in boiled water?

  • Anonymous on 05.01.2010 at 10:38 pm

    the guidelines say you have to bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute to make it safe to drink which you can’t do in a microwave

  • Anonymous on 05.01.2010 at 11:29 pm

    It’s a good idea, but not necessarily realistic because the water should be at a rolling boil for over a minute. That would be inadvisable in a microwave.

  • Anonymous on 05.01.2010 at 11:57 pm

    Yeah, I second the microwave question. I feel like microwaves kill bacteria, any science majors out there wanna help a thirsty IR major out?

  • Anonymous on 05.02.2010 at 12:20 am

    Any word on when this is supposed to be fixed by?

  • Anonymous on 05.02.2010 at 12:51 am

    My world is in chaos

  • Anonymous on 05.02.2010 at 1:30 am

    No, microwaves can’t get water hot enough to boil. Unless you see it bubbling, it’s not hot enough to kill bacteria.

  • jahnke on 05.02.2010 at 8:00 am

    microwaving water

    Yes, you can microwave water in a microwave-safe container

  • Anonymous on 05.02.2010 at 10:03 am

    is Aquafina, which is essentially tap water safe?

  • Anonymous on 05.02.2010 at 10:43 am

    @microwaving water

    Theoretically you could microwave your water but you are going to have microwave it for a VERY long time. It takes around 4 minutes to even get it up to the temperature where it will boil. And in order for the water to be sanitized you must boil it for a minute before it is safe to drink. It is very hard to get a microwave to keep water at a boil for a minute.

    It is probably not worth the hassle.

  • Anonymous on 05.02.2010 at 12:04 pm

    What about laundry? Can I still do my laundry?

  • Anonymous on 05.02.2010 at 1:13 pm

    Can I still do my laundry?

  • Anonymous on 05.02.2010 at 5:07 pm

    Microwaving water

    do NOT microwave water. it is the last thing you want to do. when you heat water in the microwave, the water can actually reach a state of being super heated. And while the water may look flat and calm upon removing it from the microwave, it has a tendency to explode and can cause major burns to your face and upper body.

    So what ever you do, do Not heat water in the microwave.

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