As a resident of Housatonic, Massachusetts, there are no doubts that homeowners have been dealing with constant water problems and that continues to be the rule of thumb since I moved here to The Berkshires back in 2019. Over 4 years later, it seems like nothing seems to be done in remedying this ongoing situation as excessive levels of manganese continue to contaminate the village's water supply.

Woman worried about financial problems. Jobless or to many bills


Residents are now even more furious as the water company STILL has the audacity to ask for a 120 percent bill hike as these extra costs could fall on customers shoulders as officials from Great Barrington, Stockbridge and West Stockbridge are weighing in on the matter.

Stack of 00 bills
Tomislav Forgo


According to The Berkshire Eagle, nearly $2 million in delayed compensation is owed to the private water company's owners and until this funding comes in, there is no other alternative but to pass the increase to customers who believe they should look for money somewhere else before their rates get doubled as the extra revenue would be used to fund system upgrades.

A kitchen faucet.
Gary Shannon
Jesse Stewart

There is some good news as customers who have paid for the purchase of water filtration systems, potable bottled drinking water and laundry related expenses may now apply for a reimbursement of up to $300 per household. You MUST provide various documentation of eligible costs which have been retroactive to January 1st, 2018.

Great Barrington Town Hall-bigger pic of building

Completed application paperwork must be dropped off at The Great Barrington Select Board's Office at Town Hall on Main Street. Applicants can expect reimbursement within 90 days.


The State Department of Public Utilities reported there have been a total of nine rate increases in the village since 1956. Could a 10th round be on the way? As Asia used to say: "Only Time Will Tell". We will keep you posted as this bears watching in more ways than one!

LOOK: Here are the best lake towns to live in

Many of the included towns jump out at the casual observer as popular summer-rental spots--the Ozarks' Branson, Missouri, or Arizona's Lake Havasu--it might surprise you to dive deeper into some quality-of-life offerings beyond the beach and vacation homes. You'll likely pick up some knowledge from a wide range of Americana: one of the last remaining 1950s-style drive-ins in the Midwest; a Florida town that started as a Civil War veteran retirement area; an island boasting some of the country's top public schools and wealth-earners right in the middle of a lake between Seattle and Bellevue; and even a California town containing much more than Johnny Cash's prison blues.

Gallery Credit: Peter Richman


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