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Lowell, Massachusetts Water Quality Report

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Sources Of Drinking Water in Lowell, Massachusetts

Where does Lowell get its water from? The only water supply for Lowell’s Water Treatment Plant is the surface water from the Merrimack River, which has its source in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The Intake Station is situated on the riverbank north of the city and water is pumped one half mile to the treatment plant. The interconnections with the surrounding communities are to supply them with water; they cannot supply water to Lowell. A draft source water assessment (SWAP) was completed by the Massachusetts DEP. The (SWAP) report is available at the water utility for any parties interested. A susceptibility ranking of High was assigned to this system using the information collected during the assessment by the DEP. 

As with many water systems, this watershed contains potential sources of contamination. However, source protection measures reduce the risk of actual contamination. The Lowell Regional Water Utility was commended for taking an active role in protecting their drinking water source. Is Lowell's water safe to drink? Does Lowell put fluoride in the water?

Source: City of Lowell, MA

Contaminants Found in Lowell's Water Supply

(Detected above health guidelines)

Bromodichloromethane

Bromodichloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Bromodichloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Chloroform

Chloroform, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Chloroform and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Chlorite

Chlorite is a disinfection byproduct resulting from water treatment with chlorine dioxide. Chlorite decreases hemoglobin levels and causes other hematologic effects.

Chromium (hexavalent)

Chromium (hexavalent) is a carcinogen that commonly contaminates American drinking water. Chromium (hexavalent) in drinking water may be due to industrial pollution or natural occurrences in mineral deposits and groundwater.

Dibromochloromethane

Dibromochloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water.

Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Trihalomethanes are cancer-causing contaminants that form during water treatment with chlorine and other disinfectants. The total trihalomethanes group includes four chemicals: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane and bromoform. 

Potential Health Effects of Consuming These Contaminants

Health risks of bromodichloromethane in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.4 ppb for bromodichloromethane was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of chloroform in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 1 ppb for chloroform was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of chlorite in excess of health guideline

Blood Chemistry Change: The health guideline of 50 ppb for chlorite was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against change in blood chemistry.

Health risks of chromium in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.02 ppb for chromium (hexavalent) was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Health risks of dibromochloromethane  in excess of health guidelines

Cancer & Birth Defects: Dibromochloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Health risks of trihalomethanes in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.8 ppb for trihalomethanes was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a draft public health goal, the level of drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Contaminant Levels in Fall River, MA Compared to Other Regions

Bromodichloromethane

- Health Guideline: 0.06 ppb

 - State: 3.30 ppb

 - Lowell, MA: 9.46 ppb

 - National: 4.38 ppb

Chloroform

 - Health Guideline: 1.0 ppb

 - State: 9.27 ppb

 - National: 11.4 ppb

 - Lowell, MA: 40.1 ppb

Chlorite

 - Health Guideline: 1.0 ppb

 - State: 9.27 ppb

 - National: 11.4 ppb

 - Lowell, MA: 40.1 ppb

Chromium (hexavalent) 

 - Health Guideline: 1.0 ppb

 - State: 9.27 ppb

 - National: 11.4 ppb

 - Lowell, MA: 40.1 ppb

Dibromochloromethane  

 - Health Guideline: 0.7 ppb

 - State: 1.69 ppb

 - National: 6.00 ppb

 - Lowell, MA: 1.94 ppb

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

 - Health Guideline: 0.8 ppb

 - State: 17.8 ppb

 - National: 23.4 ppb

 - Lowell, MA: 53.2 ppb

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April Jones

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