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Worcester, Massachusetts Water Quality Report

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Sources Of Drinking Water in Worcester, Massachusetts

Where does Worcester get its water from? Worcester obtains its drinking water from 10 surface water sources, or reservoirs, located outside of the City. The watershed for these reservoirs covers 40 square miles. These reservoirs, totaling a combined storage capacity of 7,379.9 Million Gallons are: 

  • Lynde Brook Res. (Leicester) 717.4 Million Gallons (MG)
  • Kettle Brook Res. No. 1 (Leicester) 19.3 MG
  • Kettle Brook Res. No. 2 (Leicester) 127.3 MG
  • Kettle Brook Res. No. 3 (Leicester, Paxton) 152.3 MG
  • Kettle Brook Res. No. 4 (Paxton) 513.7 MG 
  • Holden Res. No. 2 (Holden) 257.4 MG  Holden Res. No. 1 (Holden) 729.3 MG
  • Kendall Res. (Holden) 792.2 MG
  • Pine Hill Res. (Paxton, Holden, Rutland) 2,971.0 MG
  • Quinapoxet Res. (Holden, Princeton) 1,100.0 MG 

 In addition to these 10 active reservoirs, other sources of water supply remain inactive but could be used in the case of an emergency. These additional supplies include two wells and two reservoirs; the Coal Mine Brook Well on Lake Ave North in Worcester and the Shrewsbury Well off Holden Street in Shrewsbury, the Wachusett Reservoir and the Quabbin Aqueduct. A small area around Mountain Street West is supplied with water purchased from the Town of Holden. This area includes Mountain Street West from #157 to the Holden line (including Stratton Hill Apartments), Maravista Road, Maranook Road, Wendover Road, and the first 500 feet of Lanesboro Road Relocated. These residents will receive a similar Water Quality Report from the Town of Holden. Is Worcester's water safe to drink? Does Worcester put fluoride in the water?

Source: City of Worcester

Contaminants Found in Worcester'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.

Dibromochloromethane

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

Dichloroacetic acid

Dichloroacetic acid, one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

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.

Trichloroacetic acid

Trichloroacetic acid, one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. 

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 dichloroacetic acid in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.7 ppb for dichloroacetic acid was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency 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 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.

Health risks of trichloroacetic acid in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.5 ppb for trichloroacetic acid was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency 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.

Contaminant Levels in Worcester, MA Compared to Other Regions

Bromodichloromethane

- Health Guideline: 0.06 ppb

 - State: 3.30 ppb

 - Worcester, MA: 7.05 ppb

 - National: 4.38 ppb

Chloroform

 - Health Guideline: 1.0 ppb

 - State: 9.27 ppb

 - National: 11.4 ppb

 - Worcester, MA: 29.1 ppb

Chromium (hexavalent)

 

 - Health Guideline: 0.02 ppb

 - State: 0.142 ppb

 - National: 0.782 ppb

 - Worcester, MA: 0.109 ppb

Dibromochloromethane  

 - Health Guideline: 0.7 ppb

 - State: 1.69 ppb

 - National: 6.00 ppb

 - Worcester, MA: 1.40 ppb

Dichloroacetic acid

 - Health Guideline: 0.7 ppb

 - State: 4.97 ppb

 - National: 6.00 ppb

 - Worcester, MA: 11.6 ppb

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

 - Health Guideline: 0.8 ppb

 - State: 17.8 ppb

 - National: 23.4 ppb

 - Worcester, MA: 39.0 ppb

Trichloroacetic acid

 - Health Guideline: 0.5 ppb

 - State: 6.00 ppb

 - National: 4.93 ppb

 -  Worcester, MA: 15.0 ppb

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April Jones

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