Boston’s Drinking Water Complies with Standards

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) has begun mailing its Annual Water Quality Report to every household in its service area. 

In the report published online the MWRA includes statistics on the quality of Boston’s drinking water, which the Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) says meets state and federal standards. 

“This report contains an annual update on the quality of drinking water supplied in partnership with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA),” said the BWSC in a statement. “The water delivered is of high quality and complies with federal and state quality standards. While the world is engaged in a battle with coronavirus, BWSC and MWRA want to assure that the water delivered is safe from the virus. BWSC has been continuing to maintain excellent drinking water through the investment of millions of dollars to upgrade its infrastructure.”

The report says BWSC has once again received a citation from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) acknowledging BWSC’s consistent performance in the public drinking water system. 

With the Flint water crisis bringing more awareness of lead in tap water, the water provided by BWSC and the MWRA is lead-free when it leaves the reservoirs. 

“However, lead present in water may come from the service line feeding your building, private plumbing, lead solder or old plumbing fixtures,” the statement continues. “We care about lead because infants and children who drink water containing lead in excess of the action level could experience delays in their physical or mental development. Children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure.”

According to the report the BWSC’s 2020 lead sampling of higher risk homes, lead results were 25.2 parts per billion (ppb), with 5 samples over the lead Action Level of 15 ppb while copper results of 137 ppb were well below the Action Level of 1300 ppb. 

“In our Spring 2021 sampling, our lead results of 6.8 ppb were back below the 15 ppb Action Level,” said BWSC in the report. 

BWSC offers a Lead Replacement Incentive Program to qualified homeowners to remove private lead pipes. You can find more information in this report and on www.bwsc.org. 

“This report brings you the results of our annual water quality testing. While 2020 was a year filled with uncertainty, one thing remained constant: the quality of your drinking water was excellent,” said MWRA’s Executive Director Fred Laskey. “MWRA takes hundreds of thousands of tests each year and, for 2020, we again meet every federal and state drinking water standard.” 

Laskey said the MWRA also wants its customers to know that their water was again named ‘Best of the Best’ at a national taste test conducted by the American Water Works Association. “In just a few years, our water treatment has been upgraded from chlorine with its taste and odor issues, to ozone and ultraviolet light, which resulted in better tasting, safer water,” said Laskey.

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