We are currently sampling monthly per DEP requirements.
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Due to the capacity of the existing pipe, we can only get up to 1 million gallons of water per day from the MWRA. The Town's average daily use is 3 million gallons per day.
Though we presume that PFAS6 has been in the water of over 40 years, there hasn't been a way to test at the levels we have been until now. The Massachusetts DEP lowered the standard of PFAS6 levels in October of 2020 with Burlington required to test for the first time in April 2021.
We are supplementing our water with the 1 million gallons we can currently take from the MWRA via our Phase 1 pipe through Lexington. We have a bottled water rebate program in place for vulnerable populations until we can reduce the amount of PFAS6 in our water town-wide. Information for this program can be found on the PFAS page of the website.
Approved at September 2021 Town Meeting, we will be installing a filter at the Mill Pond Water Treatment plant to reduce the amount of PFAS6 town-wide. We expect this project to be complete by the end of calendar 2022. We will also supplement the Mill Pond water with MWRA water.
Due to project timing and long term redundancy needs, we know that the filter facility will be a faster solution to the existing PFAS problem. Please see the project timeline for more details.
Unless you are in a sensitive subgroup, you can continue to use the water as you always have. The 20PPT value is applicable to a lifetime of consuming the water. If you are concerned still, you can purchase a home water treatment system or bottled water. Be aware that not all bottled water is PFAS6 free. Please visit Mass.gov for the full list.
Those in a sensitive subgroup are advised not to consume, drink, or cook with the water when at a level above 20PPT. Bottled water is recommended for consumption. Those who qualify can apply for our bottled water rebate program. Make sure to use tested bottled water (list available at Mass.gov).
Those who are pregnant, nursing, have an infant under the age of 1, or are diagnosed by their health care provider to have a compromised immune system.
Monthly PFAS reports will be sent in the mail. We will also update our website as new information comes in.
No. Boiling the water will not destroy PFAS6. It will somewhat increase the levels due to the evaporation of some of the water.
We suggest that those in the previously mentioned sensitive subgroups use bottled water for all consumption (drinking, cooking, etc). Those who are not in those subgroups are not at risk for harm caused by PFAS6.
If the average of the month one + month two + zero will be greater than the MCL of 20 ppt, we are required by MassDEP to send our public notice within 30 days of violation. Since our quarterly average of month one + month two + zero has historically been greater than the MCL of 20 ppt, we have to send our mailing before the results of month three are released in order to be in compliance.
Towns like Woburn are very close to being in compliance with the MCL of 20 ppt. If Woburn has 19 ppt for month one and 18 ppt for month two, their month three results may place them within the 20 ppt compliance and not require them to send a public notice at all.