Gloucester Water Ban Update

Posted by: cpantano on 08/28/2009 15:19:09
Updated by: cpantano on 08/28/2009 15:19:09
Expires: 08/31/2009 00:00:00


Water Supplements

The DPW continues to run 2 supplemental chlorination stations, one in West Gloucester, one in East Gloucester, and will be installing 2 additional stations, one in Magnolia and one in the Eastern Point area. The Chlorine levels are rising in these areas so you may experience an increased chlorine smell from the water.

Bond Hill Water Level

The water levels in the Bond Hill storage facility are presently at 9’6”, with a 1’ 4” gain overnight.

Test Results from Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Test results from samples taken on Wednesday August 26 were received on Friday, August 28th indicate that the system is stabilizing. The results from Thursday, August 27th are expected to be available late afternoon on Friday, August 28th.

Information Updates

We now have a dedicated phone number together with a recorded message that any citizen can call at any time for an update. That phone number is 978…. The message will only be updated as the situation changes. If the message does not change you can assume the situation has not changed either.  The city website has been updated.

Impact on Schools

Schools will open as scheduled. Bag lunches will be served Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. School lunch menus will be printed in the Gloucester Daily Times and will be available on the school website. Complete arrangements have been made for drinking water for the students. Students will be allowed to wash their hands and immediately use hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizers will be available throughout the school.  As soon as the boil water order is lifted, all water pipes and all the schools will be flushed.


The outdoor water ban and the boil water order remain in effect. Please note that the more inside water the citizens of Gloucester can conserve will more quickly resolve this situation.

Cultural Flea Market to benefit the Open Door Pantry

Let me see if I can just present it here for you:
222 Arts & Wellness Center
222 Eastern Avenue, Gloucester
is proud to announce our first annual
“Cultural Flea Market”  to benefit the Open Door
Sunday, August 30th 9-5
Featuring a one-of-a-kind special concert by
“Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra” from London,
(check them out @ )
Sample gourmet appetizers and snacks by “Good
and shop a whole parking lot full of bargains
brought in by our clients and other community
A fabulous eclectic quirky day that you will not
want to miss!
I hope that helps….thank you, thank you, Joey for your interest!

A Cool Photo Tip!

How to Blur a Distracting Background

Armed Only With a Point and Shoot feature-psbackground

The mission: Take a great portrait in front of a distracting background.

The equipment: The crummiest point-and-shoot camera on the market.

Your task: Throw the background out of focus so you can emphasize the subject.

Mission Impossible? Hardly. Even with the simplest point and shoot, you can get the blurry background you crave. Here’s how:

  1. Put the camera on the “portrait” setting.
  2. Move the subject away from the background.
  3. Back away. Far away. Farther. Keep going. OK, stop.
  4. Zoom in on the subject and take the picture.

That’s it! Try it for impromptu street portraits, vacation photos, or any time you need a great picture in a lousy location.

Click on through for the fine details and more clever photo tips!

How to Blur a Distracting Background (Plus More Handy Tips!)

This is my favorite site for photo tips!      —Sharon

Photojojo! We find the best photo shiz anywhere

Snoop Maddie Mad

A couple of days ago the Mrs took the girls and my MIL into Boston to go on their annual trip on the Swan Boats, Boston Public Gardens and lunch at The Top of The Hub.

Snoop Maddie Mad, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

The Bean at The Top Of The Hub
The Bean at The Top Of The Hub
The Bean at Boston Public Gardens
The Bean at Boston Public Gardens
The Bean Waits To Go On The Swan Boats
The Bean Waits To Go On The Swan Boats
My Little Elliebean Is Growing Up
My Little Elliebean Is Growing Up

Harbor Loop Concerts a Big Hit!

With the great weather last night, the hill on Harbor Loop was packed. The pizza and other food vendors stayed open after the Farmer’ Market closed. Kids were everywhere. The Megan McKenzie Band opened the concert and rocked the house. To hear the band, click here.


The sun set, and Phat Maxx took the stage. The kids accepted the band’s invitation to come onto the stage and little rockers danced the night away.


Next week is the last concert with Hoodoo Revelator who had to be rescheduled because of bad weather early this summer.

Lone Gull Won’t Be Opening Today As Previously Planned

From Maryellen and Joe Borge-

To Joe and all of our loyal customers:

I again apologize…we attempted to open on Friday morning, but the efforts of getting the new over-the-top brewers to brew a decent cup of coffee failed. The coffee was just not up to our standards and was not hot enough. We sadly are going to wait it out. I am hoping the city and or the govenment will step in to help all of the businesses who lost alot of money in these past days. Joe and I look forward to serving our customers sooooon!!

Maryellen and Joe Borge

City of Gloucester Water Update

Posted by: cpantano on 08/27/2009 17:53:02
Updated by: cpantano on 08/27/2009 17:57:05
Expires: 08/31/2009 00:00:00


Water Supplements

Additional Chlorine continues to be added into the water system in West Gloucester and East Gloucester.

Impact on Schools

Schools will be opened as scheduled. Additional information will be available on the school’s website

Low Water Pressure/Discolored water

We realize that there may be low water pressure and discolored water in certain area of the city. This is a byproduct of the flushing of the water system and is necessary to get chlorinated water to those areas.

Frequently asked questions regarding the water situation:

When can we expect a lifting of the Boil Water order?

After we receive two consecutive days worth of zero coliform hits and we agree with whatever additional testing and oversight issues the DEP requests.

How will I know when the boil water order is lifted?

Code Red will be activated, the media will be notified, the city web site will be updated, the signboards located at Grant Circle and the Boulevard will be changed, and the 978… message will be changed. We will also request Cape Ann TV to post on channel 12 and 20.  Blogs will also be notified such as Cape Ann online and Good Morning Gloucester.

Just what is a “hit” in reference to coliform testing?

A hit means there is presence of coliform at that testing location. It is a simple (+) yes there is coliform or (-) no there isn’t coliform present.

What is the allowable amount of positive hits normally?

The DEP measures coliform hits on a % basis.  5% (+) results for coliform of all testing done on a monthly basis is acceptable.

How many sites are tested per day?

Normal testing occurs weekly at 10 standard locations throughout the city. If a (+) hit is discovered retesting is required within 24 hrs. All testing takes 24-28 hours to get the written analysis of the test results back to the DPW/administration. If a retest comes back (-) normal testing on a weekly basis resumes. If this retest comes back (+) additional tests of that location as well as locations up and down stream of the original (+) are taken. Any (+) tests are required to be retested until testing indicates a (-){zero coliform} If testing starts to show a trend of increased (+) hits then testing is increased to every other day throughout the city. If the trend of (+) hits does not appear to be lessening quick enough testing is done every day at many locations based on historical data and test results from previous days. This process is reflected in the hits recorded during this incident which showed small amounts of hits initially requiring retesting, an increase in hits over several days requiring additional daily testing sites, and a current decline in hits resulting in less testing sites daily.

When does the City get notified of a potential problem?

When the total number of (+) coliform hits exceed 5% of the running total of tests done calculated on a monthly basis.  If this limit is not exceeded during the 30 days a final report is issued to the city showing all the test results. As long as the % is under 5% the City is not notified. It is normal to have a small number of hits which are retested and these hit numbers are recorded but no notification is required.

Why were we not notified earlier about the fact that the water is “bad”?

The Mayor’s Office was not notified by the DEP until Friday afternoon, August 21st.  We immediately notified citizens of the boil water order issued by DEP via a Code Red call.

Have I been drinking contaminated water?

There is nothing to indicate that there is anything in the City’s water supply to make anyone sick.  The boil water order put in place by the DEP is to err on the side of caution until chlorine levels are where they should be.  Low chlorine levels could allow bacteria to get into the water supply.  No test results have indicated the presence of e-coli or fecal matter in the City’s water supply.

Are there any plans for the City to distribute bottled water, as had been done in the Town of Milford?

At the present time, there are no plans to distribute bottled water.  It is recommended that you boil your water for one minute before consuming.

What are the restaurants who are open serving their patrons?

Restaurants that remain open are most likely following the guidelines set forth by the Board of Health.  Some restaurants chose to close, while others obviously have decided to remain open.

If I only have to boil my water for 1 minute why do restaurants have to boil theirs for 5 minutes?

Although boiling water for a full minute will kill any bacteria present, if a homeowner fails to do this the impact will be on the health of a few number of people in that household. If a restaurant feeding dozens or hundreds of people over the course of the day makes the same mistake the health of a much larger number of people is put at risk. That is why food service vendors are required to boil their water for five minutes instead of the one minute for home consumption.

If we are being asked to conserve water, why do I see hydrants running in the street?

Hydrants are being opened in a selected manner to draw chlorinated water through the system to kill the coliform bacteria. Normally chlorine is injected into the water delivery system at the Bond Hill storage site. Opening these hydrants forces water to be drawn from Bond Hill throughout the system.

Will school open on time?

All schools will open on time. Students will have bag lunches Tues, Weds, and Thurs. even if the boil water is lifted before then. This is because the school department wants to ensure that all the water lines in all the schools as well as the underground pipes feeding into the schools are completely flushed. This flushing cannot take place until after the boil order is lifted. In the interim school water fountains have been secured, drinking water supplies will be available within the schools, and additional sanitizing devices have been placed in all the schools.


I did not get the phone call about the boil water order, but I did get the Mayor’s phone calls.  What is wrong with the system?

The Code Red alert system was just recently installed and we had not had the opportunity to run our testing as anticipated before being pressed into service. People can re-register their information on the City’s website.

I answered my phone, but the call “clicked off” and no message was delivered

There obviously were several “glitches” with the system which we have discussed with Fire Chief Dench, who is the City’s liaison with Code Red, and the vendor. They are currently being addressed.

Janice Lufkin Shea Braces For Weekend Storm With Raingear Available At The Cormorant Shop

Janice Lufkin Shea Braces For Weekend Storm With Raingear Available At The Cormorant Shop, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

Cormorant Shop Carries Very Affordable SouWesters and Rain Gear
Cormorant Shop Carries Very Affordable Sou'Westers and Rain Gear

Gloucester at Dawn- Schooner Westward Docked At The State Fish Pier

It’s pretty cool that The Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center loans out bikes to the crew of visiting Schooners.  Whenever I talk to visiting crews they always tell me that Gloucester is one of their favorite ports because of the hospitality.  I wonder if that’s true or if they say that in every port they are at.  My guess is that they really do like it here.  Don’t forget Schooner Festival Labor Day Weekend!

click the pic for the full sized version