May 27, 2021

Two Wells in Wayland, Massachusetts, Exceed PFAS Standards in Tap Water

Two of Wayland, Massachusetts', four wells detected PFAS levels at more than 20 ppt, and 20 ppt is the state’s standard.


Wayland, Massachusetts, discovered high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in tap water. 

Town administrator Louise Miller said two of their four wells detected PFAS levels at more than 20 ppt, and 20 ppt is the state’s standard.

According to the town of Wayland website, two of the three wells at the Happy Hollow well-field exceed the MassDEP PFAS6 standard and Happy Hollow is one of four well-fields supplying the town with its drinking water. 

All other wells in town are in compliance but are being monitored. To mitigate the issue, one well will be shut down and the second well showing elevated PFAS6 levels will be treated. The treated water will then be blended with water from the third well. 

“The water hasn’t changed, but the standard has changed,” said Miller, reported Boston 25 News. “So we’re shutting down one of the wells at one particular well field, we’ll treat the second well, then we’ll blend the water and then we’ll blend all of that with the other well fields.”

The town is transitioning from distributing bottled water to establishing a rebate system, so any residents who identify themselves as being part of the MassDEP defined “sensitive subgroups,” will be eligible for a rebate on their water bill. 

According to Miller, the town is looking into offering water refill stations, a program that would be available to all residents, as stated on the town’s website.

The town also released PFAS6 test results obtained at taps throughout the town and the test results mirrored the results of the testing at the well sites. This testing will continue monthly.

According to Health Director Julia Junghanns, who had been in contact with the Massachusetts DPH toxicologist who worked with MassDEP on setting PFAS6 standards, the 20 ppt was developed to leave a large margin of safety, reported the town’s website.  

Recently approved town meeting funds will be used to prepare a monitoring and sourcing draft plan.

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