Common Municipal Water Issues

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Chlorine Compounds

Total trihalomethanes (TTHM) are a group of disinfection byproducts that form when chlorine compounds that are used to disinfect water react with other naturally occurring chemicals in the water. All water systems that use chlorine to disinfect the water are required by federal and state law to sample for TTHM quarterly.

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Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead issues, however, new homes are also at risk; even legally "lead-free" plumbing may contain up to eight percent lead.

Young children, infants, and fetuses are particularly vulnerable; even low levels of lead in the blood of children can result in behavior and learning problems, and slowed growth. Lead is also harmful to adults and can cause increased blood pressure, decreased kidney function, increased hypertension, and reproductive problems.

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Fine silt, sediment and particles can enter your water due to breaks and repairs to distribution lines to your home and from flushing of hydrants and distribution lines. These particles can clog faucets, leave buildup in the bottom of water heaters and can discolor fixtures and clothes.

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Water in the News

Read more about water contaminants:

TTHM in Drinking Water,” Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

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There is an alarming new potential threat of per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, known as PFAS, which have been linked to kidney cancer, low-infant birth weights, and a range of diseases. PFAS and many other unregulated contaminants are showing up in testing of our water systems.

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