In midst of drought, Kingston residents say road has leaked water for weeks

KINGSTON, Mass. — There is the constant sound of running water down a long stretch of Ocean Hill Dr. in Kingston. Neighbors say a busted pipe has been flowing into the street for weeks.

“No one has done anything about it,” said resident Janet Carmichael said.

While towns are telling people to conserve water during the drought, Kingston homeowners say their town is wasting water every day. One resident said he reported the leak to the town on Aug. 2 after he noticed water trickling out from under the pavement in late July.

More than three weeks later, the leak continues.

“Everyone’s lawns are brown. The whole state is in a drought. We’re in a severe drought and you could probably fill Olympic-size pools by now [with the running water],” Carmichael said. “It is a lot of waste and Kingston’s taxes are not cheap.”

The town issued restrictions on May 26, limiting the days when homeowners can water their lawns. “Please help us protect our water supply by obeying the water restriction,” the town’s notice said.

Kingston Town Administrator Keith Hickey said the town is aware of the leak and blamed the slow response on faulty equipment and a recent lightning strike that damaged the Water Department’s computer and phone systems.

“We are aware of the water break on Ocean Hill Drive,” Hickey told Boston 25 in an email Friday. “The Water Department has prioritized the repair of leaks in the water system and have been making those repairs daily. Ocean Hill Drive was scheduled to be repaired last week but a piece of equipment failed and needed repairs. Those repairs were completed [Thursday]. Ocean Hill Drive repairs are scheduled to be made [Friday].”

Residents pointed out a green, slimy substance that resembles algae developing on the pavement.

“We haven’t watered our lawn for months just to help in any way that we can, so to see something like that go unaddressed, you just wonder where the priorities are,” said resident Adam North.

North said he doesn’t like driving over the leak because he’s worried the ground underneath could be unstable.

“This used to be a level surface. It’s continuously dropping in at that point [of the leak],” North said. “I’m concerned it could be washing out underneath because it’s been well over a month since it’s been leaking. It’s just getting worse by the day.”

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