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Massachusetts Water Resources Authority


January 12, 2023


Sean Navin, (617) 788-1112 or

MWRA 01/19/23 Test Operation May Cause Reduced Water Pressure, Discolored Water in Stoneham/Winchester

On Thursday, January 19, 2023, MWRA has arranged with the towns of Stoneham and Winchester to schedule a trial activation of a temporary bypass line installed between the two communities’ water distribution systems. This temporary bypass will be used to support a planned shutdown of a metered MWRA connection to Winchester on Forest Street, in order to allow for replacement of a critical water main in this area under Contract #7117: Section 89 Pipeline Replacement. This operation will be a limited four-hour test to evaluate performance of the bypass under high-flow conditions; otherwise the line will only be operated in this capacity under emergency conditions during construction.

affected area

Thursday activation of the bypass is expected to begin at 9:00 am; once activated, Winchester residents east of Washington Street, Main Street, and Grove Street may notice some discolored water or reduced pressure when supplied by the bypass. Stoneham residents near the activated bypass along Hill Street and Katherine Road may also see similar service impacts. See map (PDF) for a clear location.

If discolored water does occur, it will be from a small amount of iron in local pipes following the redirected water supply to this area, and may also be possible for 1 to 2 days after the activation of the bypass line. Please note that iron will stain light colored items in your laundry, especially when bleach is used. Residents should check water clarity before washing any white or lighter colored laundry during this period of work.  Residents may want to wait for the water to clear before using it.

 If you have any questions or concerns, please contact MWRA Intergovernmental Affairs Director, Sean Navin at (617) 788-1112 or


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Posted January 12, 2023