Low water pressure continues to be an issue for residents

David Billips
David Billips, Director of Westfield Public Works (Photo courtesy: The Westfield News)

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Those experiencing water pressure issues from the water main break on North West Road can expect them for at least a couple more days, the Department of Public Works said today.

David Billips, director of public works, said that water pressure is still not elevated to the normal level this morning. The pressure, which dropped following a water main break on North West Road, has caused issues for a number of residents in the northwest section of the city and forced students to leave from Westfield State University Sunday afternoon, canceling three days of classes.

Classes cancelled at WSU after water main break

“We were hoping the pressure would be up today but it’s still not up where it should be, so it will still be a couple more days,” Billips said. “With the reservoir offline and wells seven and eight off, it’s hard to get the system back up to pressure.”

Billips said that the issue first arose when the water main on North West Road broke on Wednesday, draining the North West water tank of water and causing a drop in pressure.

“It was an old pipe,” Billips said. “I think when we took the reservoir offline it created somewhat of a pressure burst and the pipe just went.”

The Department of Public Works made sure to quickly fix the water main break, repairing it the same day it broke. However, the effects of the break lingered on through the weekend and to today, which can cause some frustration for homeowners heading into the holidays.

Additionally, Westfield State University was forced to cancel classes for the short holiday week because students reported that they were unable to shower and toilets were reportedly clogging.

Billips though, remained optimistic that the issue would be resolved soon and that the current inconvenience wouldn’t be any more than that going forward.

“People will just have lower pressure than they have, it will be just a lower water pressure,” Billips said.

The low pressure and water main break are just two more problems that the city’s water has faced over the past several months. In addition to the latest issue, the city has seen two of their eight wells taken offline due to contamination, the Granville reservoir being shut down due to drought conditions and a water emergency being placed on the city, effectively banning outdoor water use.

The Department of Public Works will be hoping to rectify some of the issues with a $5 million bond that was recently proposed to the city council, which will be discussed in the upcoming weeks.