Westerly issues drinking water warning


The Department of Public Works in Westerly is asking residents to flush water out of their pipes before use due to an equipment malfunction.

The malfunction apparently sent too much sanitizing chemical into the water supply, so residents are being advised to run the water for three to five minutes.

The extra chemical was added several days ago and was probably already consumed.

"Due to an equipment malfunction on February 9, 2018, a chemical feed pump that injects Potassium Hydroxide into the water system to adjust the Ph kept running while the water pump shut off, injecting a larger than normal amount of chemical into the water system," the DPW noted in a press release sent to the media on Tuesday. "This raised the Ph to a higher level than is designed to treat the system."

Exposure could cause irritation to the eyes and skin.

"In sensitive individuals, gastrointestinal irritation may also occur," according to the DPW.

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