The water crisis that is not ours

May 8, 2010
By

There is a great deal of pride in announcing we are from Lynn for the past three days.

The water catastrophe and crisis affecting much of Greater Boston and all of Boston itself at first blush doesn’t concern us.

We are not part of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.

If we were, we’d be boiling our water in order to drink it or to use it in our schools, hospitals, restaurants and food manufacturing industries.

The broken ten-foot water main in Weston affecting nearly 2 million water users in the MWRA system cannot right now be explained by the accomplished water delivery experts running the show.

However, there was a problem somewhere along the line with the construction of the pipe, its installation, or the varying pressure inside the pipe through which 250 million gallons of treated water flowed everyday until Saturday when it broke.

Obviously, this is a wake up call for our own experts in charge of running our own water delivery system here in Lynn.

The piping system itself, that is the delivery system in its entirety, must be checked constantly so that catastrophes like that now being experienced by the MWRA users do not occur.

For this is not simply a matter of having to boil one’s water.

It is a severe and taxing public health issue and it is inevitably a costly economic one as well.

However long the water must be boiled is however long millions upon millions of dollars in the normal business flow will be drained from the MWRA community group.

Whether you are Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, MacDonald’s or Burger King, a restaurant chain or a family owned business or a food processor, you are basically out of business – or doing business without profits during the entire time it will take for this crisis to be solved.

Here in Lynn, we are watching a crisis which we are not a part of – but which could easily occur here unless we remain vigilant.

Although there is great satisfaction in not being forced to boil our drinking water, there is the understanding that we are all tied together inexorably by the simplest of things.

Clean water is something we take for granted.

No longer will this be so.

There are about 2 million Greater Bostonians who have come to understand that some of the things we take for granted are among the most important things having to do with maintaining our society.

Clean water to use and to drink is primary among them.

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