Housatonic water woes on tap for community discussion Monday night; meeting site changed

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This story has been updated to reflect a new temporary meeting site for the Select Board. The  meeting has been moved to the Claire Teague Senior Center at 917 Main St.

GREAT BARRINGTON — The matter of brown drinking water in homes served by Housatonic Water Works will be up for discussion and citizen comment at the town Select Board at 7 p.m. Monday at the Claire Teague Senior Center.

The frustration about rust sediment from old cast-iron water mains is bubbling up again after what water company customers say is an increase in spells of dark water, and another bout of it during a system flush that began Tuesday and is expected to run to Oct. 23.

"Our water was, once again, the color of coffee this week," said Jane Wright in an email.

Wright had contacted town officials to hold the Monday discussion, and is urging other water works customers to attend the meeting to discuss possible solutions.

The private company says turbulence from either routine or targeted flushing disturbs flaking iron from a system of mains, 80 percent of which were installed in the 1860s.

Company officials say replacing the mains would significantly hike water rates.

While the state Department of Environmental Protection says that rusty water is safe to ingest, customers say they still don't trust it.

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.

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