, Newburyport, MA

Local News

January 18, 2013

Council to decide on revealing problems with PI water sytem


Though Holaday made mention of water-main breaks, at least one smaller incident has occurred at the residence of a Newbury homeowner.

Pat Mahoney, who lives on 20th Street on Plum Island, said that several days before Christmas, he experienced a disruption in his water system.

A connector from the water main from the street to his residence “gave out,” and water entered his basement.

“I had two commercial pumps working,” said Mahoney, a former building contractor. “If I hadn’t been there, and known who to call, I could have had a full basement and thousands of dollars in damage.”

Mahoney said that workers from Newburyport’s water department responded immediately, “and they did a great job.”

He said that because the disruption was traced to the pipe between the shut-off box and the main, it is the city’s responsibility. He speculated that if the break had come between the box and the house, the expense would have been his.

He suggested that there was no “sleeve” on the street side of his house, a part that enhances the movement of the water.

Mahoney said that he has heard of “about five” other examples of water problems at residences but he did not have the names of those who encountered trouble.

In Holaday’s statement, she said, “Of the 1,241 connections (on Plum Island), we have identified only a handful that were missing important hardware and the situations have been corrected.”

Several residents of Plum Island yesterday said that they are not clear what kind of problems exist, and how widespread they are.

A real-estate saleswoman, who declined to give her name, expressed concerns about selling houses there.

“If there is a problem it seems we would have to notify potential buyers. But we don’t have all the information,” she said.

A spokeswoman for D & C Construction Co., Inc., in Rockland, which did much of the construction on the project, yesterday said the company has not been in contact with the city about doing more work and/or remedial construction.

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