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Harvard Residents Can't Use Water After Hydrant Crash Drains Town Tanks

HARVARD (CBS) – Residents in Harvard are being urged not to use water following a water main break in town that was caused when a distracted driver crashed into a fire hydrant in the area of the Bromfield School.

"By the time we were able to get in here and isolate the vales and get them shut off, it effectively pretty much drained the entire water tank system for the town of Harvard, which is a 310,000-gallon water tank,"  DPW Director Tim Kilhart said.

"Please do not use any water until further notice," Harvard police posted. They shared a video of water shooting from the hydrant.

"It was a juvenile that was driving the vehicle, as far as we know he was alone in the vehicle and had reached down, or was either utilizing his cell phone, or reached down to grab a cell phone, and was distracted just prior to the crash," said police detective Daniele Fortunato.

Distracted driving lead to evening crash. Crash is still under investigation by the Harvard Police ???? ????. Area closed off until further notice. DPW and the Harvard Fire Department are on scene.

Posted by Harvard Police Department on Sunday, February 2, 2020

It is not known when the issue will be fixed.

The Department of Public Works and Harvard Water Department said the tank is slowly being refilled. The Department of Environmental Protection issued a boil water order as a precaution that will last at least three days.

"You may have some water but it will be very limited and could have low water pressure. Please DO NOT use the water if you can for this will help in filling the tank," The DPW said.

Harvard Public Schools will be closed on Monday due to the water issues.

Crews work to fix a broken water main in Harvard. (Image Credit: Harvard Public Schools)

The Harvard General Store struggled without water. "We weren't able to open our kitchen today because we can't safely prepare food and then clean up after ourselves without safe water. We also couldn't serve any of our coffee drinks because all of our espresso machines and coffee machines are hooked up to the town water line," said Bethanie Greenaway.

Firefighters will be distributing drinking water to impacted residents.

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