Cambridge Residents: Water Alert

April 22, 2011

Just got the following email from one of the bazillion list-serves I’m on — thought it was worth passing along. Need to call the city myself because it’s unclear where MY neighborhood, Area Four, falls in this schedule…

Fire Hydrant Testing through mid June May Cause Water Discoloration

Cambridge Water and Fire departments will be conducting annual fire hydrant maintenance and testing weekdays between 9 a.m.-2 p.m., from April 25 through June 17. Hydrant testing helps ensure maximum operability. This process can disturb sediment that naturally occurs in the water piping system and may cause discoloration of water from faucets and toilets for several hours after testing.

Discolored water does not usually present a health hazard though concerned residents should avoid drinking it.  Check your water before doing laundry as the discolored water may stain clothes. The Water Department can provide a wash additive to remove stains. Please see the schedule below or call the Cambridge Fire Department at 617-349-4921 between 8-8:45 a.m. for daily test locations.

For questions on water quality, call Ed Dowling, Cambridge Water Department at 617-349-4780. To report discolored water call the main Water Department number at 617-349-4770.  Below are general reference dates for Cambridge neighborhoods:

EAST CAMBRIDGE        Engine 3   April 25 – May 6
PORTER SQUARE         Engine 4   April 25 – May 6
INMAN SQUARE             Engine 5   May 9 – May 20
HARVARD SQUARE      Engine 1   May 9 – May 20
CAMBRIDGEPORT        Engine 2   May 23 – June 5
NORTH CAMBRIDGE    Engine 8   May 23 – June 5
RIVER STREET AREA   Engine 6   June 6 – June 17
FRESH POND PKWY    Engine 9   June 6 – June 17

Please note that these dates for testing remain flexible due to weather and Fire Department activities.

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