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Onset Water Consumer Confidence Report - Downloadable version

2010

Annual Drinking Water Quality Report

For

Onset Fire District

Onset, Massachusetts

MASSDEP PWSID # 4310003

This report is a snapshot of drinking water quality that we provided last year. Included are details about where your water comes from, what it contains, and how it compares to state and federal standards. We are committed to providing you with information because informed customers are our best allies.

I. PUBLIC WATER SYSTEM INFORMATION

Address: 15 Sand Pond Road, Onset, Massachusetts 02558
Contact Person: Paul S. Bokoski, Superintendent
Telephone #: 508-295-0603 Fax #: 508-295-0606
Internet Address: www.onsetwater.com

Water System Improvements

Our water system is routinely inspected by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The DEP inspects our system for its technical, financial and managerial capacity to provide safe drinking water to you. To ensure that we provide the highest quality of water available, your water system is operated by a Massachusetts certified operator who oversees the routine operations of our system. As part of our ongoing commitment to you, last year we made the following improvements to our system:

Continued Development of a New Water Source near Sand Pond

Continued Water Meter Replacement Program

District wide leak detection survey

Continued Water Conservation Program

Maintained Water Meters and Fire Hydrants and Water Mains

Opportunities for Public Participation

If you would like to participate in discussions regarding your water quality, you may attend the following meetings or educational events:

Water Commissioner Meetings at Onset Water Department Office, 15 Sand Pond Road, Onset on the First and Third Wednesdays of each month at 6:00 PM

II. YOUR DRINKING WATER SOURCE

Where Does My Drinking Water Come From?

Your water is provided by the following sources listed below:

 

Source Name

DEP Source ID#

Source Type

Location of Source

Well # 3

4310003-02G

Groundwater

Off Red Brook Road

Well # 4

4310003-01G

Groundwater

Off Red Brook Road

Well # 5

4310003-03G

Groundwater

Off Sand Pond Road

Well # 6

4310003-04G

Groundwater

Off Sand Pond Road

 

 

Is My Water Treated?

Our water system makes every effort to provide you with safe and pure drinking water. We are pleased to report that your water only needs pH adjustment to meet these goals. The water quality of our system is constantly monitored by us and the DEP to determine if any future treatment may be required.

Many drinking water sources in New England are naturally corrosive (i.e. they have a pH of less than 7.0). Therefore, the water they supply has a tendency to corrode and dissolve the metal piping it flows through. This not only damages pipes but can also add harmful metals, such as lead and copper, to the water. For this reason, the Onset Water Department adds caustic soda to its water. Doing so adjusts the water to a non-corrosive pH. Testing throughout the water distribution system has shown that this treatment has been effective at reducing lead and copper concentrations.

How Are These Sources Protected?

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has prepared a Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP) Report for the water supply source(s) serving this water system. The SWAP Report assesses the susceptibility of public water supplies.

The SWAP Report notes that residents and businesses need to properly handle industrial and household hazardous waste in the water supply protection area for our sources. The report commends our water system on the existing source protection measures.

What is My System’s Ranking?

A susceptibility ranking of high was assigned to this system using the information collected during the assessment by the DEP.

What Can Be Done To Improve Protection?

The SWAP report recommends that all floor drains be connected to the sanitary sewer system and that catch basins not be used to dispose of pet waste, debris and hazardous chemicals.

Our public water system plans to address the protection recommendations by continuing to educate and work with our customers and local officials.

Residents can help protect our water supply by:

Practicing good septic system maintenance

Supporting water supply protection initiatives at the next town meeting

Taking hazardous household chemicals to hazardous materials collection days

Contacting the water department or Board of Health to volunteer for monitoring or education outreach to schools

Limiting pesticide and fertilizer use

Where Can I See The SWAP Report?

The complete SWAP report is available at the Onset Water Department Office and online at www.state.ma.us/dep/brp/dws/. For more information, call 508-295-0603.

 

III. SUBSTANCES FOUND IN TAP WATER

Sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals, and in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.

Contaminants that may be present in source water include:

Microbial contaminants -such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.

Inorganic contaminants -such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, and farming.

Pesticides and herbicides -which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses.

Organic chemical contaminants -including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems.

Radioactive contaminants -which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prescribe regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water that must provide the same protection for public health. All drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and some infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on lowering the risk of infection by cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

IV. IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) – The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.

Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) –The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) -- The highest level of a disinfectant (chlorine, chloramines, chlorine dioxide) allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG) -- The level of a drinking water disinfectant (chlorine, chloramines, chlorine dioxide) below which there is no known of expected risk to health.

MRDLG's do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

Treatment Technique (TT) – A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

Action Level (AL) – The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow.

90th Percentile – Out of every 10 homes sampled, 9 were at or below this level.

Variances and Exemptions – State or EPA permission not to meet an MCL or a treatment technique under certain conditions.

Units of Measure

ppm = parts per million, or milligrams per liter (mg/l)

ppb = parts per billion, or micrograms per liter (ug/l)

ppt = parts per trillion, or nanograms per liter

pCi/l = picocuries per liter (a measure of radioactivity)

NTU = Nephelometric Turbidity Units

ND = Not Detected

N/A = Not Applicable

mrem/year = millimrems per year (a measure of radiation absorbed by the body)

Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (SMCL) – These standards are developed to protect the aesthetic qualities of drinking water and are not health based.

Massachusetts Office of Research and Standards Guideline (ORSG) – This is the concentration of a chemical in drinking water, at or below which, adverse health effects are unlikely to occur after chronic (lifetime) exposure. If exceeded, it serves as an indicator of the potential need for further action.

V. WATER QUALITY TESTING RESULTS

What Does This Data Represent?

The water quality information presented in the table(s) are from the most recent round of testing done in accordance with the regulations. All data shown was collected during the last calendar year unless otherwise noted in the table(s).

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has reduced the monitoring requirements for inorganic contaminants (IOCs) and synthetic organic contaminants (SOCs) because the source is not at risk of contamination. The last sample collected for these contaminants was taken on 9/18/03 and 5/4/00 and was found to meet all applicable EPA and DEP standards.

Date(s) Collected 90TH percentile Action Level MCLG # of sites sampled # of sites above Action Level Possible Source of Contamination
Lead (ppb)

9/09 – 9/09

0.004

0.015

0

30

0

Corrosion of household plumbing systems; Erosion of natural deposits
Copper (ppm)

9/09 – 9/09

0.51

1.3

1.3

30

0

Corrosion of household plumbing systems; Erosion of natural deposits; Leaching from wood preservatives

 

 

Highest # Positive

in a month

MCL

MCLG

Violation (Y/N)

Possible Source of Contamination

Total Coliform

1

0

N

Naturally present in the environment

Regulated Contaminant

Date(s) Collected

Highest Detect

Range Detected

Highest Average

MCL

or

MRDL

MCLG or MRDLG

Violation (Y/N)

Possible Source(s) of Contamination

Inorganic Contaminants
Arsenic (ppb)

6/18/09

ND

ND

 

10

-----

N

Erosion of natural deposits; runoff from orchards; runoff from glass and electronics production wastes
Nitrate (ppm)

6/18/09

0.63

0.16– 0.74

 

10

10

N

Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks; sewage; erosion of natural deposits
Volatile Organic Contaminants                
Benzene (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

5

0

N

Discharge from factories; leaching from gas storage tanks and landfills
Carbon tetrachloride (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

5

0

N

Discharge from chemical plants and other industrial activities
o-Dichlorobenzene (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

600

600

N

Discharge from industrial chemical factories
1,2-Dichloroethane (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

5

0

N

Discharge from industrial chemical factories
1,1-Dichloroethylene (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

7

7

N

Discharge from industrial chemical factories
cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

70

70

N

Breakdown product of trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene
trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

100

100

N

Discharge from industrial chemical factories
Dichloromethane (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

5

0

N

Discharge from pharmaceutical and chemical factories
1,2-Dichloropropane (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

5

0

N

Discharge from industrial chemical factories
Ethylbenzene (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

700

700

N

Leaks and spills from gasoline and petroleum storage tanks
Styrene (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

100

100

N

Discharge from rubber and plastic factories; leaching from landfills
Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

5

0

N

Discharge from factories and dry cleaners
1,2,4-Triclorobenzene (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

70

70

N

Discharge from textile-finishing factories
1,1,1-Trichloroethane (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

200

200

N

Discharge from use in septic system cleaners
1,1,2-Trichloroethane (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

5

3

N

Discharge from industrial chemical factories
Trichloroethylene (TCE) (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

5

0

N

Discharge from metal degreasing sites and other factories
Toluene (ppm)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

1000

1

N

Leaks and spills from gasoline and petroleum storage tanks; discharge from petroleum factories
Vinyl Chloride (ppb)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

2

0

N

Leaching from PVC piping; discharge from plastics factories
Xylenes (ppm)

12/17/08

ND

ND

 

10000

10

N

Leaks and spills from gasoline and petroleum storage tanks; discharge from petroleum factories; discharge from chemical factories

Unregulated contaminants are those for which EPA has not established drinking water standards. The purpose of unregulated contaminant monitoring is to assist EPA in determining their occurrence in drinking water and whether future regulation is warranted.

Unregulated Contaminant

Date(s) Collected

Result or Range Detected

Average Detected

SMCL

ORSG

Possible Source
Inorganic Contaminants            
Sodium (ppm)

6/18/09

9 - 22

15

----

20

Natural sources; runoff from use as salt on roadways; by-product of treatment process

 

VI. COMPLIANCE WITH DRINKING WATER REGULATIONS

Does My Drinking Water Meet Current Health Standards?

The Onset Water Department vigilantly safeguards its water supplies. We are committed to providing you with the best water quality available. We are proud to report that last year your drinking water met all applicable health standards regulated by the state and federal government.

Is My System Exempt from Meeting Certain Requirements?

Variances and exemptions are temporary permissions granted either by MADEP or the EPA to not monitor or meet an MCL or Treatment Technique under certain conditions. Our system has been granted reduced monitoring for inorganic compounds (IOCs), synthetic organic compounds (SOCs), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

VII. EDUCATIONAL INFORMATON

 

Do I Need To Be Concerned About Certain Contaminants Detected In My Water?

The Onset Water Department continues to safeguard its water supplies. We are committed to providing you with the best quality water available. We are proud that these efforts allow us to meet all applicable health standards regulated by the state and federal government.

 

 

 

 

VIII. ADDITIONAL INFORMATON

The Onset Water Department conducts an ongoing well maintenance program to ensure the reliability and peak performance of its groundwater supply system. We also flush the distribution system to ensure an aesthetically pleasing product.

The Onset Water Department now has a mandatory water conservation program. There is an outside water ban from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Even numbered houses are to water on even days and odd numbered houses are to water on odd days.

A cross connection is a connection between a drinking water pipe and a polluted source (e.g. a pipe with a contaminant). The pollution can come from your home. For instance, you’re going to spray fertilizer on your lawn. You hook up your hose to the sprayer that contains the fertilizer. If the water pressure drops (say because of fire hydrant use in the town) when the hose is connected to the fertilizer, the fertilizer may be sucked back into the drinking water pipes through the hose. Using an attachment on your hose called a backflow-prevention device can prevent this problem.

The Onset Water Department recommends the installation of backflow prevention devices, such as a low cost hose bib vacuum breaker, for all inside and outside hose connections. You can purchase this at a hardware store or plumbing supply store. This is a great way for you to help protect the water in your home as well as the drinking water system in your town! For additional information on cross connections and on the status of your water systems cross connection program, please contact The Onset Water Department.