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Additional Water Quality Data
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

In addition to conducting hundreds of thousands of water quality analyses of regulated contaminants for compliance monitoring and treatment process control, MWRA collects many other samples to understand more about our water, to track how the system is working and changing over time, and to help researchers and EPA regulators determine if new water quality standards are needed.

MWRA publishes an annual water quality report, focused primarilty on regulated water quality parameters and a more detailed monthly report. More information on MWRA's key performance measures for water quality, maintenance, and financial management can be found here. Additionally to all the data regularly published in those reports, MWRA believes that our users should have access to the water quality data we collect on a periodic basis for other purposes.

If you have questions or would like more information about lead in drinking water, please call our Water Quality Hotline: 617-242-5323, or email Beverly Anderson, Project Manager, Public Health.

PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) in MWRA Drinking Water

You might have seen recent news reports about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (together abbreviated as PFAS). These are a class of human-made chemicals typically associated with manufacturing of non-stick coatings, water-proofing and stain-proofing treatments. They have also been associated with certain fire-fighting foams.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) set a standard of 20 parts per trillion on October 2, 2020 for the sum of these six PFAS compounds (called PFAS6):

  • Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)
  • Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA)
  • Perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS)
  • Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA)
  • Perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA)

While the new regulation’s testing requirements did not kick in until 2021, MWRA tested for the six regulated PFAS as well as a dozen other PFAS compounds, using extremely sensitive testing methods in 2019. MWRA began quarterly testing as required by the MassDEP regulation in January 2021, found here.

As expected given MWRA’s well-protected watersheds and reservoirs, in all testing rounds, no more than trace amounts were detected; the sum of the six regulated PFAS compounds was zero, below the new MassDEP standard of 20 ng/l.

MWRA PFAS Test Results Page

If you live in a partially supplied MWRA water community, your local water department may have tested for PFAS. Results for testing done through MWRA's laboratory are here. For additional information, please contact your local water department.

These compounds are persistent in the environment and have been used for decades in a number of everyday products.

MWRA will continue to perform testing and closely monitor developments in the science around this issue.

MWRA tests the water supply each year for over 120 contaminants to ensure the water supplied is of the highest quality. For more information about PFAS and all other drinking water tests or if you have questions about water quality, please visit MWRA's water testing page, which includes all of our annual and monthly test results, or contact us at 617-242-5323.

Cryptosporidium and Giardia Information

Information found here

Research for New Regulations: Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) periodically requires water systems across the country to conduct monitoring for substances that may be present in drinking water to help understand their national occurrence as part of the process of deciding whether to regulate them.  Under the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments, EPA established the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule and is required once every five years to develop a list of up to 30 new contaminants that must be monitored duringa three year period by public water systems that meet the criteria for sampling.  This monitoring is used by EPA to understand the frequency and level of occurrence of unregulated contaminants in the nation’s public water systems (PWSs).

EPA will collect and analyze data for all three years and from systems all across the country to develop an understanding of the occurrence, level and distribution of these substances in drinking water. That data, along with information on potential halth effects and water treatment effectiveness will be used by EPA to determine if any new regulations are needed.

Information found here

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products

Information found here

Pesticides and Herbicides

Information found here

Updated February 9, 2021

 
Historic Withdrawls Reservoir Levels