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Sturbridge officials warn of water test scam


December 28, 2010
STURBRIDGE — Back in early November, some residents were bothered by scammers attempting to solicit driveway paving and sealing services. Now town officials are warning residents about a new potential scam that has been taking place in the last two weeks.

According to Town Administrator Shaun Suhoski, a recent spate of solicitations for water testing services has no relation to the town's water treatment or distribution system.

Veolia Water North America, Sturbridge's water project manager, has received several inquiries from residents who were recently solicited to purchase water quality testing services. However, no testing services are currently needed for town businesses and residences because tests of the municipal water supply were completed on Dec. 8. These tests indicated that the water supply had achieved 100-percent compliance with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.

"Some residents have been asked to purchase water quality testing devices and new water filtration systems, but we would like everyone to know that these requests have nothing to do with Veolia Water or the town of Sturbridge," said Matt Demo, a spokesman for Veolia Water North America. "No one from Veolia Water has contacted Sturbridge residents about water testing or treatment."

The solicitations are not likely to be investigated by the police department unless residents are subjected to repeated requests or are harassed by the solicitors.

Thus far, residents have simply been contacted by individuals soliciting water treatment services, and they have not yet accepted money for their offered services. Police officials anticipate that the solicitors will not continue to call residents once the public is informed that the town water supply was tested and certified less than a month ago.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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