Water returns after wells run dry at Rockland Oaks

Water returns after wells run dry at Rockland Oaks

SCITUATE – Several toilets with running leaks caused wells to dry up at Rockland Oaks, Scituate Housing Authority’s senior living facility, leaving residents without running water for approximately 48 hours beginning July 15.

According to Scituate Housing Authority member Ted Richards, the leaks caused the underground water supply to completely drain, leaving residents in the 24-unit housing center without water. Richards said the leaks were discovered soon after the water ran dry.

The SHA brought in a water tank to refill the well, Richards said, and the well was already recovering at that point. Water levels remained stable and the water was no longer needed

“It’s all figured out. Everything is fine,” Richards said.

Richards said one would think that the large amount of rain over the past weeks would supply enough water for the wells, but water takes several weeks to filter down into aquifers.

A letter to residents from Rockland Oaks management group, Rural Consulting and Management, advised residents to only use bottled water for cooking and drinking while the issue was being located.

Resident Sacha Hummel, who previously protested after being told that he needed to buy his own replacement air conditioner, said he was mid-shower when the water stopped running. He said the situation was “totally ridiculous” and said he was not informed of the issue or solution during the process.

Former Councilor Chuck Collins Sr., who was recently appointed to the SHA to replace former SHA President Terrell Parker, said he would like to see the water problems at Rockland Oaks solved once and for all.

He pointed to nearby Caito Field at Scituate High School, where he said there is plenty of water. Collins said Pauline Galbreath of Rural Consulting is handling the water issues well.

“I have complete faith in her,” he said.

In March, Parker reported that the water at Rockland Oaks was drinkable after almost three years of discolored water. Problems began in 1995, when the previous SHA split the water system into two to avoid being a public water supply requiring frequent testing.

When a new SHA came into power in 2017, water testing related to a possible reconnection of the wells began Soon after, with no connection ultimately made, water began running rusty and discolored in half of the facility.

In March, Parker said a plumber found that a missing connection in the pipes had caused the discoloration.