PFAS Testing Update from Mayor Scott Galvin: 8-25-2022
The City of Woburn is committed to providing regular updates to our community about PFAS testing and providing high quality drinking water to our residents. The City conducts monthly testing for PFAS in its treated drinking water in accordance with all Mass DEP requirements. Over the past nearly three years of testing, PFAS6 levels in Woburn’s drinking water have averaged 17.8 ppt, which is below the Mass DEP drinking water standard of 20 ppt for PFAS6
From January 1, 2022 thru June 30, 2022 (1st and 2nd quarter) the City has been in compliance with the new state standard. The individual monthly results have ranged from 11.6 to 18.0 ppt. The July sample was invalidated by DEP for third party laboratory quality control reasons. We are now experiencing the typical seasonal pattern for our water with a small uptick in the results in August at 20.6 ppt. The compliance status for the 3rd quarter of 2022 (July-September) will be determined after we receive results for the September sample.
The DEP advises that those people in sensitive populations, which include pregnant women, nursing mothers and infants, and people diagnosed by their health care provider to have a compromised immune system should not drink or cook with water that exceeds 20 ppt. If you are an adult or older child, not in sensitive populations, you may continue to consume the water because the 20 ppt value is applicable to a lifetime of consuming the water and shorter duration exposures present less risk.
We have and are taking several actions to address the PFAS6 levels in the drinking water and their impacts, as follows:
- A free water bottle filling station is available at the Senior Center on School Street.
- For people considered in a sensitive population (see above) who must purchase bottled water, the City will issue a monthly rebate for the water bill to be issued in February 2023 for the billing period of July 1, 2022 thru December 30, 2022. The rebate will be available for those periods we are non-compliant with the Mass DEP drinking water standard of 20 ppt.
Qualifying Residents can apply for the rebate on the city website beginning in January of 2023
- We are upgrading our water treatment plant to treat and remove PFAS6. The initial engineering studies are complete and we are now underway with the design.
- We submitted an application for funding to the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund on August 12 to subsidize the cost to construct the upgrades to our water treatment plant.
If you have questions about your drinking water, please contact the City of Woburn Water Department at 781-897-5945. If you have questions for Mayor Galvin, please call at 781-897-5907.
The City is dedicated to providing the highest quality drinking water to our residential and business customers. The Department serves water to over 40,000 residents of Woburn, as well as the industrial and commercial customers within the city, through over 200 miles of water mains and service connections. Additional information can be found on the City website: https://www.woburnma.gov/government/water-department/pfas/
For a downloadable/printable version of this Press Release, click here.