2nd water shutoff affects expanded neighborhood

Water-shutoff notice, 2021Earlier water-shutoff notice.

You get up Monday to start your day, turn on the tap and a trickle of water drips out. No coffee, no shower. In one resident's case, a scheduled medical procedure that had to be postponed.

These are among the impacts in the neighborhood around Brattle-Summer streets on Nov. 1 when workers replacing a water main ran into a problem.

“We are tying in a newly constructed water-main replacement,” DPW Director Mike Rademacher told YourArlington. “This work is involved, and until the work is exposed, subsurface conditions can often complicate the work. 

"The valves we expected to use for the shutdown were not functioning properly, so we needed to expand the area we shut down to get to functioning valves.”

2nd shutdown

Repairs were not completed Nov. 1, and a water shutdown was required Tuesday, Nov. 2. It was expected to last until 3 p.m.

Rademacher noted that the town phone call in the late afternoon Monday was sent to the expanded shutdown area.

A resident told YourArlington that her neighborhood received a paper notice recently, alerting them about a planned water-main shut-off from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday for Brattle, Hemlock and Summer Streets to complete work in the area. “It had been scheduled for last week, but the work was postponed,” she wrote.

Two other residents, who said they had received no alert and were apparently part of the expanded area affected, expressed concerns. One said she had to miss a scheduled appointment for a needed medical procedure.

A second, Scott Samenfeld of Summer Street, had more to say. He wrote on Monday: “Yes, the people who were in the original work zone were notified.

“The 'expanded' work zone is the emergency, and we received no notification …. For those who knew, they could prepare.  For the rest of us, we were just inflicted with this with no warning and no information.”

'More robust response' urged

He offered some possible reasons:

"1. ) They didn't have a good plan and discovered this morning that they didn't know where the pipes went.

"2.) They broke something while digging

"3.) They knew and just didn't bother to let any of us know.

“My belief is that is 1 or 2."

“... No one seems to think this is a problem.  The emergency is that we need water to function and knowing whether we will have it or not is an imperative.

"For those who were notified, it isn't an emergency.  They should think about the facts and realize that those of us who've had no information might feel differently about the situation.”

A link on the town website points to this project, among others.

He wrote Nov. 2: "Their response to the 'expansion' of the work area doesn't acknowledge the obvious that this was unplanned for and should have triggered a more robust response to notify the folks effected by the problem."

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This news summary was published Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.