Boil water order lifted in Ware

New samples show system is free of contamination

WARE, Mass.(WWLP)- Ware residents are no longer instructed to boil their water before drinking it.

Water samples collected by the DPW from a raw water source Friday, detected a fecal indicator, meaning the drinking water may have been contaminated with human or animal waste. The town issued a boil order Tuesday, advising all residents to boil water from the tap for at least a minute before drinking it.

On Wednesday, however, the Ware Water Department received a letter from MassDOT advising them that they could lift the order. Collection of five samples for the bacteria has shown that the water system is free of fecal contamination. The boil water order, therefore, was lifted.

It wasn’t just residents who were affected by Tuesday’s order. Some businesses that use the tap water, like Dunkin’ Donuts were forced to close Wednesday.

“I was going to come and get an iced coffee. I do that everyday, but I do know there’s one up the street in Palmer,” said Scott Kelley of Hardwick. “I’m glad they are doing something about it and once its resolved, I’ll be back.”

“I’ve got a well, so I don’t really have to worry about it, however it does cut into my morning coffee,” said Tom Lewason of Ware.

The problem with the town’s drinking water was found at the cistern. It’s the main collection point for all of the town’s water sources. The untreated water here than gets sent over to the pump station, where it is disinfected with chlorine.

Ware’s DPW worked with MassDEP to solve the issue, but they say the town’s location made this situation more difficult.

“Chicopee, Springfield, South Hadley- they can all get water from other sources or communities or neighboring systems, but we don’t have that ability in Ware, we are kind of isolated here,” said Richard Kilhart, Director of Ware’s Department of Public Works.

Kilhart told 22News the town has approved the construction of a new $6 million dollar water treatment plant. He said this will prevent the raw water from being contaminated.

As an additional preventative measure, the town has added additional chlorine into the system. As a result of this, residents may notice a slight discoloration or a change in taste to their water.