The Cambridge Water Department announced on Aug. 4 that it will be conducting a routine functionality test for the emergency Massachusetts Water Resource Authority Interconnects.
During this test, which will occur the week of Aug. 10, water from the MWRA will be introduced into the Cambridge water system.
The Cambridge Water Department services approximately 113,000 residents, and our mission is to provide a safe, uninterrupted water supply of the highest quality to the residents of Cambridge, said Sam Corda, managing director. While Cambridge has its own water supply, we are fortunate to have the ability to use MWRA water as a backup to our water supply should the need arise. While the last such usage was in 2018, periodic functionality tests are a critical part of maintaining our water infrastructure.
The action of introducing MWRA water into our system during the testing period may cause some slight water discoloration due to water flow direction reversal. While the water is safe to drink, the Cambridge Water Department recommends running tap water until it is clear. Additionally, residents are advised to check water before doing laundry because discolored water may stain clothes. This can be resolved by running the cold water for several minutes prior to doing laundry.
Functionality tests are performed to ensure that MWRA water can be readily turned on if the city requires it to supplement the Cambridge water supply, either for routine purposes or emergency purposes. For this exercise during the week of Aug. 10, the Cambridge Water Department will open the valve from the MWRA water supply for approximately 20 hours.?MWRA water will flow through this connection at nearly 8,300 gallons per minute, totaling about 9 million gallons of MWRA water being introduced into the Cambridge water system. Once the test is completed, the valve will be closed and the Cambridge Water Department will resume using water from the city-owned water system.
The Cambridge water system comprises the watershed, including the Hobbs Brook, Stony Brook and Fresh Pond Reservoirs; the Stony Brook conduit; the Walter J. Sullivan Treatment Plant; the Payson Park finished water reservoir and the MWRA interconnects.
To learn more about the Cambridge Water Department and the Cambridge water supply, visit http://cambridgema.gov/cwd.
Residents or businesses with questions or concerns can contact Edward Dowling, director of water operations, at 617-349-4773 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.