Hingham Select Board as water commissioners to host public meeting Wednesday at 2 p.m. about discolored water

June 24,2024 By Carol Britton Meyer

The Hingham Select Board, acting as water commissioners for the Weir River Water System that serves customers in Hingham, Hull, and North Cohasset, will hold a public meeting Wednesday, June 26, at 2 p.m. to discuss the ongoing issue of brown water that has affected residents of all three towns — some for a prolonged period of time. WRWS serves about 300 Cohasset customers.

Weir River Water System Managing Director/Supt. Russell Tierney will attend the meeting, and representatives of Veolia, the company that manages the system, have also been asked to be there.

The meeting will be held in person at Hingham Town Hall in the third-floor meeting room and also on Zoom.  Check the Hingham town website for the agenda and Zoom link.

“For people to see brown water coming out their faucets is totally unacceptable and falls far short of the standards the WRWS needs to maintain,” Select Board Chair Joseph Fisher told the Hingham Anchor.

Select Board member William Ramsey said he will be asking “a number of questions at the meeting that I want answers to. “I want to know the cause of why this is happening; what can be done internally to prevent it from happening again; and how long the discolored water will continue.  I also want to ask about the safety of the water —  what is actually in it? Nobody wants to drink brown water. Brown water is completely unacceptable under any circumstance.”

Fisher said the board as water commissioners “is on top” of the situation, including ensuring that Veolia notified MassDEP (Department of Environmental Protection) about the discoloration issue. “MassDEP sets standards for safe drinking water in the state, and the results from tests on the WRWS water confirm it’s in compliance with DEP standards.”

Hingham, Hull, and Cohasset customers will have an opportunity to ask questions and express concerns  at Wednesday’s meeting.

Ramsey also noted that heat waves are not uncommon during this time of year, “although we typically get these higher temperatures in July and August. [That said,] we haven’t had discolored water in the past during heat waves.”

Customers who would like to receive regular updates about the brown water situation and other WRWS news can subscribe on the WRWS website.

“We need to be sure the messages are getting out consistently and we’re not missing folks but also to ensure we’re not overburdening WRWS customers with too many notifications,” Fisher said.

An effort is also being made to coordinate messages from Veolia and the WRWS so they are clear and not repetitive.

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