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Discolored water of Housatonic Water Co. is unacceptable

The customers of Housatonic Water Company are paying for water they can’t drink, and still the state allows this.

To the editor:

Have you seen Housatonic’s brown water? I wouldn’t drink it. Yes, the state regulators say it is safe to drink, just “roily,” but there’s no way I would drink it and the customers of the Housatonic Water Company, who have no choice, shouldn’t have to either. It is unacceptable.

Last time this came up we were told about the 140-year-old pipes. Now they are 141 years old and still the customers of HWC are paying for water they can’t drink, and still the state allows this.

There are no quick or easy (or inexpensive) solutions, and the cost of all the potential solutions will be borne by ratepayers and/or taxpayers, not by HWC. But something still needs to be done.

The selectboard and town staff have been working with state Rep. William “Smitty” Pignitelli (who has been very helpful) and state regulators for several years to find a solution. That work is ongoing. Again, brown water is not acceptable, even once, so this slow pace is infuriating.

At the next Great Barrington Selectboard meeting, on Monday, July 27, the town manager will give an update on what is being done and where we stand. If you are concerned about this, please “attend” (via Zoom) and find out what can be done.

Ed Abrahams

Great Barrington
The writer is a member of the Great Barrington Selectboard

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