Updated: Health Department Says Rust to Blame for Brown Water at WMS

Superintendent denies water's color caused by rust, invites public to tonight's meeting for explanation.

A view of the front of Woonsocket Middle School's Hamlet Building. CREDIT: Patch File Photo
A view of the front of Woonsocket Middle School's Hamlet Building. CREDIT: Patch File Photo
Editor's note: Originally posted Jan. 08, 2014 at 3:24 p.m. Updated at 4:55 p.m.

Rusty hot water from Woonsocket Middle School's plumbing is to blame for the brown water coming from the building's taps, according to an official at the RI Department of Health, but Superintendent Giovana Donyan disagrees.

At Monday night's meeting, Alethea Forcier brought two bottles of brown water  — samples from the tap at Woonsocket Middle school, she said. She claimed the principals and superintendent had been aware of the problem for about a month.

Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt said after the meeting that she would speak with Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan about the problem. Calls to Baldelli-Hunt's office Tuesday and Wednesday about the water were not immediately returned.

A call to Woonsocket Middle School's Principal Steve Boss was also not immediately returned. 

Jim Palmer, spokesman for the RI Department of Health, said the department's water and food inspectors have been out to the school to look at the problem, and have attributed it to hot rusty water. 

The problem does not affect cold water running from the taps, Palmer said, so the water is safe for cooking and drinking.

Donoyan, contacted at about 4:30 p.m., denied the problem had anything to do with rust, but would not elaborate on the actual cause of the problem. She said the School Board's Chairman would address the problem and explain it at this evening's meeting at 7 p.m.,  at the Hamlet Middle School Building, 60 Florence Dr.
Russell Archambault January 08, 2014 at 10:02 PM
how to make a mountain out of a little hill.as usual!!! easy fix. There are 237 end user water lines in this city. just flush out the end fire hydrant problem solved. Water dept wont do this until temp. lowers Watch next week it will have been taken of. Hot water tanks and interior water lines will have to be bled. Of course dr idiot just like Obama could not tell people the truth if they tried.
virgil earp January 09, 2014 at 08:29 AM
So what about the chunks?
Alethea Forcier January 09, 2014 at 02:35 PM
The "talking" of this or any other problem does not "solve" the problem, it only stirs the pot creating bigger problems. I am referring to the gossiping that is going on within the comments sections. If you want to help be part of the solution then you should have been at the meeting, but you were not. As parents we have the power to be part of the solution and I can see we have some pretty strong personalities on here that can be used to help create a positive end result. You are basing your opinions (which you are entitled to) on hear say not on fact. Fact: the water is discolored and contains iron (I have proof to support that statement). Fact: We need to fix it!


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