High levels of toxic chemicals found in some Mass. water supplies


Massachusetts communities are monitoring PFAS in their drinking water, a group of chemicals also found in consumer products and food

Massachusetts communities are finding elevated levels of chemicals in their drinking water since the state implemented new safety regulations last fall.

The town of Wayland has been handing out cases of bottled water since it first found certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in two of three wells at the Happy Hollow wellfield in February. In their most recent update, town officials said they plan to shut down one well, treat the second well showing elevated levels and blend the treated water with water from the third well.

“It’s our understanding that it’s really the sensitive population that is more at risk of having PFAS in the water,” said Thomas Holder, Wayland’s director of public works.

The short-term solution will bring the Happy Hollow supply into compliance with regulations set by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), officials said, but work continues to find a long-term solution.

“Nothing has changed” Holder said. “The water is the same, it is just the regulation has dropped from 70 parts per trillion to 20 parts per trillion”

MassDEP adopted a strict drinking water standard in October 2020, limiting the sum of six specific PFAS to no more than 20 parts per trillion. The standard is meant to protect people against adverse health effects from drinking the water.

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NBC Boston, 24 May 2021
; https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/high-levels-of-toxic-chemicals-found-in-water-supplies/2388163/