Dec 28, 2021

High Lead Levels Found In Boston, Massachusetts, Drinking Water

In 2021, BWSC replaced over 400 lead service lines through its Lead Replacement Incentive Program.

massachusetts

The Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) found excessive levels of lead in the latest round of sampling of Boston’s drinking water.

The levels exceeded the U.S. EPA and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP) action level for lead of 15 parts per billion, at 17.4 ppb, reported WBZ News Radio. 

According to BWSC, they will work with MassDEP to monitor the water and remove additional lead service lines in the water’s distribution system.

Boston’s drinking water is provided by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), reported WBZ News Radio.

Boston’s water quality sampling taken of 25 homes during the fall of 2021 found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in 4 homes. In 2021, BWSC replaced over 400 lead service lines through its Lead Replacement Incentive Program.

The source of the supply is lead-free when it leaves the reservoirs, according to BWSC.

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"The longer water remains in contact with plumbing materials containing lead, the greater the possibility that lead will dissolve into the drinking water," said Chief Engineer John P. Sullivan, reported WBZ News Radio. “Therefore, water that is first drawn from a tap that has not been used for several hours may contain elevated levels of lead. The commission recommends that people who have lead pipes, or other plumbing that contains lead, to flush out their water for 30 seconds to two minutes before drinking or cooking.”

BWSC will continue to help property owners with the cost of removing lead pipes through its Lead Replacement Incentive Program, which gives owners up to $4,000 towards the cost of removing lead service lines.

More information about lead in drinking water and how to test tap water for lead can be found here.

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