Town center residents and workers could breathe a sigh of relief Wednesday as a three-day boil-water order was lifted and water pressure returned to normal at homes and businesses.
A big round of applause is due to the men of the Department of Public Works, who responded quickly to an emergency summons Saturday night and repaired a major break in the town’s water system by Sunday morning. By the time TV crews arrived to cover the disruption, town workers had already left the scene, having installed a new fire hydrant and dumped their last shovelfuls of gravel and sand into the 20-foot section of the Bromfield driveway that had been washed out by the gushing pipe. Most went without sleep to complete the repairs, and others were called out to sand roads that had grown slippery in temperatures that hovered near freezing. By the time they returned home Sunday afternoon, in time for the Super Bowl, they were no doubt ready to call it a day. We agree with DPW Director Tim Kilhart that they did “a hell of a job.”
Praise is due as well to the town’s emergency response team headed by Fire Chief Rick Sicard. By 7 a.m. the entire town had been alerted to the problem by reverse 911 calls and Blackboard Connect emails. And distribution of water and printed guidance for town center residents and businesses was underway by noon, an effort staffed by firefighters, Land Use Administrator Liz Allard, Town Administrator Tim Bragan, and others.
It was an impressive and reassuring display of readiness. The accident that caused the break was inexcusable and the disruption of water service troubling. But we got to see town workers and officials at their best.