Franklin Department of Public Works Director Brutus Cantoreggi said through social media that the town has the parts needed to get its main water treatment plant up and running.

FRANKLIN - There is a light at the end of the town's summer-long water treatment plant repair tunnel that has kept the town on a full water ban since July.

Department of Public Works Director Brutus Cantoreggi said Wednesday via the department's social media that the town has all the parts needed to get its main water treatment plant up and running.

The plant at 10 Public Works Way was shut down on July 7, along with the town's two largest and oldest wells associated with it, as a result of a fire in one of the tanks.

"We finally have all the parts needed to fully restore the water treatment plant after the fire," Cantoreggi reported. "Our crews are currently working to install the parts and we hope to have everything ready very soon."

He indicated that crews will be on site throughout the weekend "to get the plant running normally as soon as possible."

In the meantime, he reminded residents that the full water ban remains in effect and those on town water should continue to adhere to the ban. It prohibits all outdoor watering except for vegetable and flower gardens by hand-held hose only.

"We really appreciate everyone's help getting us through the summer and ask for just a little more patience through this weekend," he stated.

Cantoreggi also addressed water issues related to the work.


Franklin calls for full water ban after malfunction, smoke force main treatment plant shutdown

"We understand that some of our testing at the plant has recently caused some dirty water in the Fisher Street area," he said. "We are aware and are working on it. Getting the plant back to normal this weekend should resolve your issues."

The July fire that precipitated closure occurred inside the so-called CIP tank at the facility. The purpose of the fiberglass tank is to store citric acid, used for maintenance of filters and not for the treatment of water. When the substance does get used, it needs to be heated up.

In late July, Cantoreggi reported the fire appeared to have been a result of a hardware failure in the main control panel, likely caused by a lightning strike. Because of the failure, the immersion heater in the tank turned on unexpectedly, and since the tank was empty at the time, the extreme heat caused the tank to catch on fire.

Cantoreggi last month reported that the department was able to get the tank repaired rather than replaced, “saving a significant amount of time, money and effort versus replacing the tank completely.”

“I have to give credit to my deputy (Deacon Perrotta) for coming up with the idea to repair the tank instead of replace it,” he said in August.


Franklin officials urge compliance of water ban 

Replacing the tank would have required a more significant amount of work, involving cutting holes and associated equipment, lifting the old tank out and bringing in a new tank, then reattaching everything to it.

The inside of the tank was ground down "to remove all of the charred areas and lined with new fiberglass, making the tank as good as new," Cantoreggi said.

The need to replace parts associated with the tank - including the "highly specialized" heater, which had to be custom made - delayed progress. According to Cantoreggi, "there are about a dozen control valves, a chemical water mixer, liquid level and temperature transmitters and, of course, the immersion heater that caused the fire in the first place."

With the new parts and heater in place, along with a new safety lock out, workers will be able to test the whole system and get things back to normal.


Franklin considers water ban law

Cantoreggi estimates going with the tank repair saved the town $75,000 to $125,000. The project is expected to cost less than $100,000.