Rutland Water Shortage Could End Soon

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(Host) Rutland City residents hope their water shortage will end this week.  

As VPR’s Nina Keck reports, crews from the city water department and area construction companies have been working around the clock to restore Rutland’s water system.

(Keck) The grinding whirr of road equipment can be heard nonstop along Route 4 and Meadow Lake Drive in Mendon.   

Dump trucks have been hauling away debris that cascaded down the mountain when Mendon Brook flooded.   

That’s the river that turned Route 4 into an asphalt accordion, washed away part of a major sewer pipeline and wreaked havoc on Rutland city’s water system.

(Keck) Rutland Mayor Chris Louras says two weeks after the flood, the sewer pipeline has been temporarily repaired and Route 4 is expected to open next weekend.   

He says those repairs are just as important to the city’s water system as efforts to replace 1,400 feet of pipeline and other infrastructure that channels water from the brook to the city’s reservoir.   

Louras says once the city determines the water in Mendon Brook is clean enough – hopefully this week – they’ll be able to start refilling the reservoir.

(Louras) "It’s a question of silt, sand that gets roiled up by activity in the brook upstream of our inlet. So, provided that all the channel work is done by the construction companies, when we’re ready to start taking water, we’ll be taking clean water, because no one will be in the brook with excavators or trucks roiling it up."

(Keck) Louras says it will take about 10 days to restore the reservoir to normal levels. He says now that the primary water source has been repaired, crews will begin work on the backup intake, which was also destroyed by the flood.   

For VPR News, I’m Nina Keck in Rutland.

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