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Fact Sheet:
MWRA & the Public Health Community
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MWRA and the Public Health Community

Over the past several years, MWRA has partnered with public health professionals on a series of projects as a key part of its Integrated Water Supply Improvement Program. This 15 year, $1.7 billion program upgrades watershed protection, water treatment and storage facilities, distribution pipelines and builds a new transmission tunnel to provide cost-effective and comprehensive protection of public health. Health and environmental activists, water treatment specialists, public health officials and practitioners, and researchers from all over the country have assisted MWRA.

All of the MWRA/public health community activities are tied to MWRA’s overall program to improve and protect drinking water quality in cost-effective efforts directly related to public health benefit. Several of MWRA’s public health projects are:

  • A Public Health Advisory Group was created through which experts and practitioners assist MWRA in determining the most cost-effective manner of providing the highest level of public health benefits.
  • Coordination with Public Health Officials and Water Superintendents - MWRA maintains close working relationships with state and local public health and water officials through an advisory committee and a monthly water quality report. MWRA promotes interaction between the health and water departments in all communities.
  • Cooperative Research / Surveillance Projects — MWRA continues to enhance its extensive water quality testing program and work with state and Boston public health agencies to track health outcomes inside and outside the MWRA system and implement an early warning system of possible trouble.

  • Annual Water Quality Report - To help answer customer questions about their drinking water, MWRA issues an annual water quality report, or consumer confidence report, each June/July.

  • Lead Exposure Education Efforts — While water is lead-free coming from the reservoir, MWRA has made major efforts to make chemistry changes to reduce leaching of lead from home lead pipes. MWRA also has a public education campaign to educate homeowners how to reduce lead exposure from drinking water.

For more:

MWRA Fact Sheet:
MWRA & the Public Health Community (PDF)
Conference paper: Reaching Out to Health Care Providers
Conference paper: Water Supply & Public Health

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