Norton devises alternative to brown water problem

City of Norton devises alternative to brown water problem

NORTON, Mass. — The town of Norton has battled a problem with their water supply for years, but now it seems the city has been making strides to remedy the issue.

The town doesn't have a water treatment facility and plans to build one were stalled after Native American relics were found on the proposed site, forcing an archeological exam which would've cost $300,000. The site ended up being moved, which prompted a slew of bureaucratic issues.

It's truly been a topic of unending frustration for residents as everyday is a roll of the dice when you turn on the faucet - one day you may get clean water, the other you might get a sink full of iron and manganese.

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"It's awful, you never knew whether you were gonna get weak iced tea or if you were going to get mud - or anything in between," said Peggy Gildersleeve, a Norton resident.

Boston 25 News has been following the issue for more than a year now, checking in regularly with Gildersleeve.

"I have brown water, I have a lot of it, so I understand what everyone is going through," said Gildersleeve.

Now, the town has put forward a plan for a temporary fix where they'll offer their residents the state's first ever free water vending machine.

Residents, who are already used to hauling jugs of water to fill whenever they leave town will have easier access to a more local spot.

The Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Bob Kimball says its definitely a band-aid measure, but that it'll at least help while the problem itself is addressed.

The vending machine will operate on the side of Norton Town Hall where the Food Pantry is and it'll be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can fill about two 5 gallon jugs at a time.

Kimball says the plans to build the water treatment facility are moving along, on track to be ready by next spring.

Although 30 months behind schedule, in the meantime, town officials are working on ways to get the pipes ready for clean water.

"Pigging is when they go into the system using frozen water, almost like pellets and it goes through the system and it removes the iron and manganese from the inside of the pipes," Gildersleeve said.