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Main breaks, homes lose water for hours

March 03, 2011
STURBRIDGE — At approximately 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, March 1, several residents in the western section of town noticed low water pressure or a complete loss of water, beginning a full-day search for the source of the problem.

After being informed about the incident crews, from Veolia Water, the company that manages the town's water systems, teamed up with members of the Sturbridge Department of Public Works to coordinate a comprehensive street-by-street shutdown of valves to locate and isolate the source. When this procedure failed to work, Veolia Water brought in specialized equipment to closely analyze various points along the water distribution system. Shortly after 9 p.m. officials discovered that the leak was emanating from an abandoned warehouse located off of Holland Road.

"We immediately shut the sprinkler line down, and water pressure had returned to normal throughout the system by 10:30 p.m.," said Veolia Water Spokesman Matt Demo.

According to Town Administrator Shaun Suhoski, the residents whose water pressure was most negatively impacted by the leak live on Draper Woods Road, Brookhill Road, Tannery Road, and Clark Road. Some residents went without water or experienced limited pressure for more than 12 hours, but luckily the town's wells and treatment operations continued to produce a sufficient volume of water to keep pace with the loss. Veolia Water technicians estimate that between 40 and 60 residents lost water service at some point during the day, many of whom live at higher elevations that the reduced water power could not reach.

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

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