FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Water Sample Results Below Lead and Copper Action Levels
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA-DEP) today notified the Wareham Fire District Water Department has reduced its sampling frequency from semi-annual to annual testing for lead a copper.
"We are pleased to report that Wareham's water is well below the allowable limits for lead and copper", said Water Superintendent Michael Martin.
MA-DEP sets drinking water action levels for lead and copper, both classified as heavy metals, at 0.015 part per million (ppm) for lead and 1.3 ppm for copper. Of the thirty samples tested, Wareham's detection levels were all below the reportable action levels for both lead and copper. As such, Wareham is eligible for reduced monitoring for the metals for the next two years.
Lead and copper constitutes a known health risk to humans, especially infants and toddlers.
According to Martin, the groundwater in Wareham is naturally low in lead and copper, however, both metals can be leached out of residential plumbing pipes and fixtures due to the corrosive nature of New England's ground waters. "Our water is very soft or low in alkalinity", said Martin, "as such we need to add lime at the wells to raise the pH." The only chemical added to Wareham's water is lime.
Public water systems are required to test for a variety of contaminants on pre-described schedules set by the MA-DEP. For lead and copper, samples are taken at pre-approved residential and school locations. Wareham's next round of testing is scheduled for September 2008.
Anyone having any questions can call the WFDWD at (508)295-0450.