Jul 05, 2019

Massachusetts Towns Address Discolored Water Issue

Many towns in Massachusetts have had issues removing iron & manganese from drinking water wells

Many towns in Massachusetts have had issues removing iron & manganese from drinking water wells

Webster, Mass., built a 2.5-million-gal-per-day treatment plant to remove iron and manganese from drinking water wells. According to South Coast Today, the project is in response to the town’s history of discolored water, and it is funded by a state revolving fund and is on track to be finished by October. 

Another Massachusetts town, Shrewsbury, built a treatment plant last year for the manganese levels in the water system causing discolored water. According to South Coast Today, both towns have created an ice pigging program that flushes sediments from the towns’ water mains. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “exposure to high levels of manganese can result in behavioral changes and nervous system effects, while studies in children have suggested that extremely high levels of manganese exposure may produce undesirable effects on brain development.” 

According to Massachusetts state and federal government, manganese is considered a secondary contaminant for drinking water at levels greater than .05 milligrams per liter. One location in West Boylston tested higher than that, according to South Coast Today. The DEP received the complaint in 2016 from the administration of the Oakdale Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center. 

“Oakdale has been closely monitoring water quality at the facility, including the regular changing of filters,” spokeswoman Debby Osipov said in a statement, according to South Coast Today. “Bottled water is continuously on hand as well as the required emergency water supply.”

The town of Webster has a residential water filtration program to help with discoloration. According to South Coast Today, “the town will provide customers a no-interest loan to install a household water filter system, which can cost up to $500.”

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