Bristol issues boil water order

BRISTOL — What began as a simple maintenance call devolved into a giant headache for about 100 water customers in Bristol last week.
After an old valve broke near the intersection of Pine Street and Taylor Avenue, water service in the immediate area was temporarily shut off for repairs on Wednesday. Taps flowed again by 6:30 that evening.
The town advised affected customers to boil their water until further notice. The order was lifted late Friday afternoon. According to Town Clerk Jen Myers, coliform tests came back negative; the water is safe to drink.
The boil-water order was probably unnecessary from a health standpoint but was issued out of an abundance of caution, said Rich Chabut, senior operator at Vermont Utility Management Services (VTUMS), which is responsible for overseeing Bristol’s water system.
Responding to a residential complaint about low water pressure on Taylor Street, VTUMS began testing water-main valves on Tuesday to make sure they were operational before they undertook repairs.
One valve didn’t quite close.
“Water started running onto nearby properties and there were concerns about washed-out gardens and lawns,” Chabut said.
Sometimes these valves can be fixed without digging them up, he added, but this was not one of those times.
The valve VTUMS uncovered Wednesday had seen better days. Nearby pipe was stamped “Burlington 1905.”
Workers replaced the leaky valve, along with a short section of 6-inch pipe, disinfected and flushed the pipe, then restored water service.
Repairs at the Taylor Street residence are forthcoming.
Reach Christopher Ross at [email protected].

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