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Substances Found in Tap Water

Sources of Drinking Water (both tap and bottled) 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.  It can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activities.  Contaminants that MAY be present in source water include:

 

Microbial Contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from wastewater treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock activities, wildlife, or even unsanitary or improper procedures by the user.

 

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

 

Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agricultural, urban storm water runoff and residential uses.

 

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

 

To insure that tap water is safe to drink, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limits the amount of contaminants in water provided by Public Water Systems.  The Food and Drug administration (FDA) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) regulations establish limits on 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.  Call EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 for more information about contaminants and potential health effects.

 

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population.  Immunocompromised persons such as persons undergoing chemotherapy, who have undergone organ transplants, 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.  The EPA, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on lowering the risk of infection by Cryptosporidum and other microbial contaminates are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.

 

Now that you have the above information, please go to the table on the next page to see results for our water.