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

Public Works Department
16 Pine Street
Fax 781-438-8183

Public Water Supply # 3284000

Dear Water Customer:

This sixth annual report provides detailed information on the MWRA’s source water reservoirs and the quality of our water as determined through federal and state testing criteria. Water quality test data, as well as definitions of the terms used in the drinking water industry, are presented in clear and readily understandable language.

Go to MWRA 2003 Water Report main page

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As concerns Stoneham’s water system, we are fully served by the MWRA. Our water supply is furnished by means of aqueducts from Quabbin Reservoir, a man-made facility approximately 65 miles west of Boston. The reservoir was completed in 1939, encompasses 39 square miles and retains over 400 billion gallons. Six town boundaries and 2,500 persons living in 650 homes were relocated to provide the area to become Quabbin Reservoir.

Our town has a network of nearly eighty miles of water main. To maintain its integrity, we have one of the most aggressive water main replacement records of any MWRA community. During 2001, 20021, and 2003, over 13,000 feet of pipe originally installed between 1910 and 1935 were replaced. Whereas many of these mains had significant buildups of iron and mineral deposits, their replacement significantly reduces incidences of discoloration, in addition to decreasing the likelihood of water main breaks.

Further system improvements are being accomplished through the relocation of certain water services from an old main to a newer main to enable us to remove the old main from service. This work was performed on sections of Elm Street and William Street during 2003, and will continue on sections of Marble Street and/or William Street, and Elm Street during 2004.

In order to ensure that the water being provided is safe, seven sites are sampled each week. Testing is performed for coliform, an indicator bacteria, which may signal more serious bacteria could be present. Should coliform be noted in any sample, further testing is done to determine the presence of more hazardous organisms. No coliform was found in any sample during 2003.

Each year, the MWRA and individual water departments test tap water in homes that are more likely to have higher lead levels. That is, homes possibly having lead service lines or portions thereof, or lead solder. The EPA rule requires that 9 out of 10, or 90% of the sampled homes have levels below the Action Level of 15 parts per billion. See page 5 of the report for more information.

Finally, as a further means of insuring the integrity of our water system, control unaccounted for water, and to conform with Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection requirements, a complete leak detection survey was performed during 2002. Although only required every other year, another survey will be performed during 2003 and annually thereafter. As usual, any leaks located will be quickly repaired.