Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
2003 Report on your Drinking Water - a message from your local water department

Department of Public Works

Public Water Supply #: 3220000

To the Norwood Community:

This annual report, compiled in accordance with state and federal drinking water regulations, deals with the quality of the drinking water that we deliver to our residents and other water users.

Go back to MWRA main report

Norwood, like many other communities in the metropolitan area, obtains all of its water from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), which owns and operates a massive network of water reservoirs, treatment facilities and distribution pipes, ranging from the Quabbin and Wachusett reservoirs in western and central Massachusetts to the hundreds of miles of individual water mains that deliver water to our border. The Town, in turn, delivers this water to your home through over 120 miles of locally-owned distribution pipe, maintained by the Dept. of Public Works.

Both the MWRA and the Town have invested heavily in our water systems in recent years in order to maintain the high quality of our drinking water. In the last few years, for example, we have cleaned and lined several thousand feet of water main to eliminate rusty water problems in different neighborhoods; replaced an undersized, unlined cast-iron main on Chapel St., installed in 1897; and painted the Town's water storage tanks behind the High School. In the late summer or early fall, we hope to clean and line additional water mains in the Winslow Ave. neighborhood. We are also proceeding with permitting and reactivation of the Town's well at Buckmaster Pond, inactive for the last twenty years or so, as a supplementary (and emergency back-up) water supply.

Water Quality Results

The MWRA water that is supplied to Norwood is some of the highest quality water in the country. Both the MWRA and the Town constantly collect and analyze water samples in accordance with protocols set by state agencies and by the EPA to ensure its continued safety and potability.

The most frequently asked question that we receive about water quality concerns the potential presence of lead in tap water. The answer is simple: the water we supply to your home does not contain any lead. If any lead is present at the tap, it has been picked up through contact with lead somewhere on the premises, most often through a lead water service (which runs from the house foundation to the water main in the street), or through contact with lead solder used in plumbing installations or repairs. In general, lead has not been used for water services or for household plumbing since before World War II. Although the majority of homes dating from this era have had their water services replaced because of leaks or other problems, some could still have a lead service in place. Lead solder, on the other hand, was not banned until 1986, so it is possible that some newer homes built before that date could have slightly elevated levels of lead present in the “first flush” from a tap. For more information about the potential presence of lead at the tap and steps that may be taken to reduce exposure, please contact the Norwood Board of Health. In addition, the Norwood Board of Health conducts a voluntary lead testing program using a state-certified laboratory to analyze tap water samples collected by the consumer (there is a $20 fee). Please contact the Health Dept. at 781-762-1240 x174 for more information.

We hope that you find this report to be informative. If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Public Works at 781-762-1413.

John J. Carroll Joseph M. Welch
General Manager Supt. of Public Works