Norton official: Dirty water complaints up since fire hydrant flushing started

NORTON, Mass. (WPRI) – Ann-Marie Kirshon and her family have lived in Norton for eight years, and she says that in that time she has always had issues with her water.

It varies in shades of brown and yellow, compared to their own water filtration system that comes out clear.

It’s been a while since Kirshon drew a bath and once the tub is full, and it’s easy to see why.

“Some days are worse than others,” she said. “Some days it’s a really really dark brown and some days it’s just sort of yellowish.”

Kirshon says she’d seen water like this before in towns she’d lived in previously, but only when they were flushing the fire hydrants.

“We thought, ‘they can’t be flushing the hydrants this many times a year!'” she said. “It’s almost every single week, a few days per week.”

Norton Water-Sewer Superintendent Bernie Marshal on Thursday said fall fire hydrant flushing is currently underway.

Dirty water complaints have spiked since the process started on Sunday, according to Marshal. He said 50 people have called and he claims the department fixed the problem for all of them.

Kirshon says she hasn’t called to complain, mostly because her family invested in a water filter which they use for everything, from making coffee to cooking.

“It just looks and smells gross and no one wants to drink that,” she said.

Kirshon isn’t alone. The Facebook group “Sick of Dirty Water in Norton Massachusetts” has hundreds of members who share photos, complaining of discolored tap water.There is even a petition called, “We Deserve Clean Water!” with nearly 1,500 signatures.

“We’re told that it has something to do with manganese, that there’s a lot of it in our water, that it’s not a dangerous thing but it is unsightly,” one Facebook user wrote.

Marshal says a new water filtration facility that’s set to be built in the coming years should fix the problem, but in the meantime he says residents should call the Norton Water Department with any issues at (508) 285-0280.