Councilor Wants ‘Explanation’ of Water Treatment Notice Delay

Haverhill Water Treatment plant, 131 Amesbury Road.

Deputy Public Works Director Robert E. Ward.

Deputy Public Works Director Robert E. Ward.

Haverhill City Council President John A. Michitson wants an “explanation from the mayor” as to why residents were not notified until this weekend about a December drinking water treatment malfunction.

Haverhill households were notified by mail this weekend “a rapid series of brief power outages” at the city’s Amesbury Road water treatment plant prevented disinfectant from being added to drinking water. For nine minutes, the notice read, the required number of chemicals was not added to the water.

“Unfortunately, the Haverhill City Council was not apprised of this issue by the mayor when it occurred in December. We are just finding out about it now along with the citizens,” Michitson told WHAV. “I’m assured by (Deputy Public Works Director) Bob Ward that no citizen was put at risk,” he added.

While the mailing notes residents need not take any action, such as boiling water, it also contained precautionary information about risk to people with compromised immune systems, infants and some elderly. Michitson said the additional information, required by the state, created fear.

“The notice follows strict guidelines, and thus unfortunately does not clearly state that the public was not put at risk,” the council president said.

City councilors already had an item related to the water treatment plant on its agenda this week. The item, scheduled to be placed on file for the required two weeks, would allow borrowing another $3.7 million for an already $37.5 million improvement project at the treatment plant.

9 thoughts on “Councilor Wants ‘Explanation’ of Water Treatment Notice Delay

  1. I think the delay in notifying the public about the problems at the Water Treatment Plant is inexcusable , of course the public should have been notified as soon as the problem was found. The Mayor has many avenues to contact the people of the city and should have used one or all. I have a young daughter and my wife occasionally uses tap water to put in her juice ,if we had been notified in a timely fashion we would have stopped using the water as we have now. Mr Mayor with all due respect we the people deserve and have a right to be notified about EVERY issue that affects the citizens of Haverhill.

    • What about the Robo calls we get for delayed trash, or no street parking, or Christmas tree decorating ? Quick, easy and everyone is notified. Guess this wasn’t as important…..

  2. “We are just finding out about it now along with the citizens,”

    John Michitson….you make it sound like city councilors have a more superior right to know about this issue than every other citizen in the city. Get over yourself already…..

  3. As reported in The Eagle Tribune, after the outage the Mayor and water department inquired with the State EPA as to whether they had to notify citizens at all. The delay in finding out about this issue was because of the delay in the EPA making the ruling that it was mandatory that the City of Haverhill notify citizens of the power outage.

    Had the EPA not made that ruling Mayor Failurentini would not have notified citizens or the city council at all. This was an intentional, planned coverup by the mayor. There is NO WAY the mayor can say it wasn’t. Otherwise, he would have notified citizens immediately.

    This is an election year for this incompetent and corrupt mayor. With one failure after another, the last thing he needs is even more incompetence coming from mismanagement. So his solution to this issue was to cover it up. Just think about what he did…he covered it up knowing full well that infants and the elderly had a good chance that they were going to get physically sick for the untreated water.

    People need to remember this come November !!!

  4. I would like an explanation as well.
    Little ironic that the Tribune prints the story on Sunday and Inhet the letter on Saturday.
    The excuse that they were waiting to hear from the state is in other words called “passing the buck”.
    Step up and take responsibility when it happened and let the public know at the time. Three months later is not responsible leadership.

    • This is as intentional a coverup as you’ll ever see!!!!

      Proof that the mayor was covering this up is he initially notified the public by way of a “Legal Notice” hidden in The Eagle Tribune. Had he been serious of informing the public he would have issued a formal “Press Release” which would have been seen by ALL media, who then could have reported on it.

  5. The Mayor continues to rule by iron fist over his dept. heads. The micro manager in chief has screwed it up again. while trying to protect his well crafted legacy. Why do the right thing when you can fool most as nobody will hold you accountable ? Perfect !