Mayor’s August PFAS Update Letter

The City of Woburn (the City) 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 MassDEP requirements. Over the past nearly three years of testing, PFAS6 levels in Woburn’s drinking water have averaged 17.5 ppt (parts per trillion), which is below the MassDEP drinking water standard of 20 ppt for PFAS6.

From January 1, 2023 thru June 30, 2023 (1st and 2nd quarter) the City has been in compliance with the state standard, which is calculated quarterly. The individual monthly results have ranged from 11.2 to 14.2 ppt. We are now experiencing the typical seasonal pattern for our water with a small uptick in the results – July at 19.5 ppt and August at 22.9 ppt. A confirmation sample was taken in August, with the laboratory results expected at the end of the month. The compliance status for the 3rd quarter of 2023 will be determined after we receive results for the September sample.

The MassDEP 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 2024 for the billing period of July 1, 2023 thru December 30, 2023. The rebate will be available for those periods we are above the MassDEP drinking water standard of 20 ppt.
  • We are upgrading our water treatment plant to treat and remove PFAS6. The design is nearly complete and we will be submitting the design to MassDEP for approval in the next two months.

We submitted an application for funding to the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to cover the cost to construct the upgrades to our water treatment plant. The City of Woburn was 1 of 39 communities selected from 141 applications recommended for financing through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program (DWSRF). The DWSRF is a joint federal/state financing program that will allow the City to borrow funds at 0% interest with an additional 6.6% in principal forgiveness.

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://woburnma.gov/government/water-department/pfas/

 

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