Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


November 7, 2013

Water sludge battle flows on

Judge urges Berberian, town to settle


Berberian repeated several times that he is concerned about the health and welfare of his family, including two children and nieces and nephews who lived with them.

He said the sediment posed a “significant risk for cancer” and that the sediment was in the Bancroft water tanks.

He quoted from another report saying that when Scuba divers went to take samples of the sludge at the bottom of the 6-million-gallon, underground reservoir near the Bancroft School, they reported that low visibility in the tank suggested that the sediment was actually suspended in the water, meaning it could get into the water supply.

But Vispoli, reading from the town statement, said the water had been tested on numerous occasions and that there was no threat to public health.

Despite the public back and forth, settlement talks are continuing. The Board of Selectmen held an executive session Monday night to discuss the litigation.

Berberian said last week he made a settlement offer to the town that would remove a gag order local officials sought that would have prevented him or anyone associated with his side of the case from saying anything about the matter, even after it was settled.

“They wanted not just me to be gagged, but everyone else on my side of the table to be gagged as well,” he said. “But we can’t control everybody. We can’t control what everybody says.”

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