Luckily, Westfield’s boil water order was lifted before it became any more of a pain at Stanley Park. Prepping for Saturday’s fireworks display expected to draw upwards of 20,000. “It was a pretty big headache for everybody because we had to turn off all the drinking spouts, and, of course, with all the fireworks, we had a lot of water going to our vendors which they couldn’t use,” said the park’s managing director, Robert McKean.
However, Fred Wilkins wasn’t too inconvenienced by the boil water order city officials put into effect on Friday. “I was downtown when I heard about it, so I picked up a couple extra cases of spring water. I was concerned about maybe, when you shower, how it might affect you,” Wilkins expressed.
Neither was Tom Ouimette, who started his laundry before he knew the order was lifted. “That’s why you have detergent, that’s why you have a sense of smell…common sense,” Ouimette said.
On Friday, Westfield’s Water Resources Department told folks living in some parts of the city that they had to boil water before they could drink it.
This, after weekly groundwater tests of well #5 on July 2nd came up positive for enterococci, a bacteria that indicates there may have been some fecal contamination. “It takes 24 hours to get the results of the sample. Then we work with the DEP to determine how much of the city was affected by that particular well. It took some time to determine what that particular area was going to be,” said Water Systems Engineer Charles Darling.
Repeat water samples were all clean, with no sign of any bacteria.
According to Darling, Westfield has never had to issue a boil order before. Now that it’s been lifted, the affected areas will get their water from wells 3 & 4. They’ve also been treated with extra chlorine as a precaution.
Although officials don’t know the exact cause of the contamination just yet, darling says some of it might be due to high river runoff.
They will continue to study the area next week.
Officials might have to disinfect well number 5, which will remain offline until they figure out what happened.
Residents located south of the Westfield River and west of Shepard Street, Smith Avenue, High Street and Southwick Road to the Southwick border, were told to boil their water prior to consumption to reduce any potential risk of exposure to bacterial or viral contamination.
Any residents who may have become sick from ingesting the water should call their doctor.