Hopkinton Water Department located in Hopkinton, Massachusetts has levels of PFAS6 above the Drinking Water Standard

By contributor,

What happened?
Our water system received notification of PFAS6 results showing that our system violated the 20 ng/L PFAS6 Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) drinking water standard during the January - March 2022 compliance period with a quarterly average of 24 ng/L at the Fruit St. Pump Station. The quarterly average of PFAS6 has ranged between 22 and 26 ng/L since Quarter 3, 2021 to date and our system will continue to notify consumers every 3 months with updated information as required.

Samples collected on January 13, 2022, February 2, 2022, and March 3, 2022, reported levels of PFAS6 at 27.9 ng/L, 23.9 ng/L and 20.4 ng/L, respectively. Exceedance of the MCL has been determined from these results.

Compliance with the PFAS6 MCL is calculated as a quarterly average based upon the total number of samples collected during the compliance period.

The location where elevated levels of PFAS6 were reported is from one of five facilities (including the Ashland Interconnection) that supplies drinking water to our system. PFAS6 levels were reported below the MCL at our other locations.

What does this mean?
This is not an emergency. If it had been, you would have been notified immediately. Although this is not an emergency, as a consumer of the water, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we did and are doing to correct this situation.

On October 2, 2020, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) issued a new drinking water regulation setting a maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 20 nanograms per liter (ng/L) for the sum of six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (called PFAS6). PFAS6 includes perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) and perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA).

PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in the manufacturing of certain fire-fighting foams, moisture and stain resistant products, and other industrial processes. An MCL is the maximum permissible level of a contaminant in water which is delivered to any user of a public water system. Some people who drink water containing PFAS6 in excess of the MCL may experience certain adverse effects. These could include effects on the liver, blood, immune system, thyroid, and fetal development.

These PFAS6 may also elevate the risk of certain cancers. For more information on PFAS, see the links below.

What should I do?
For consumers in a sensitive subgroup (pregnant or nursing women, infants, and people diagnosed by their health care provider to have a compromised immune system)
● Consumers in a sensitive subgroup are advised not to consume, drink, or cook with water when the level of PFAS6 is above 20 ng/L.
● Consumers in a sensitive subgroup are advised to use bottled water for drinking and cooking of foods that absorb water (like pasta).
● For infant formula, use bottled water or use formula that does not require adding water. ● Bottled water should only be used if it has been tested. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health requires companies licensed to sell or distribute bottled water or carbonated non-alcoholic beverages to test for PFAS.  See Water Quality Standards for Bottled Water in Massachusetts | Mass.gov

For all other consumers not in a sensitive subgroup
● If you are not in a sensitive subgroup, you may continue to consume the water because 20 ng/L value is applicable to a lifetime consuming the water and shorter duration exposures present less risk. ● If you have specific health concerns regarding your past exposure, you should see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) link below and consult a health professional, such as your doctor.
Steps you can take to reduce your intake - Consider taking the following steps while actions are being implemented to address this issue:
● For older children and adults (not in a sensitive subgroup), the 20 ng/L value is applicable to a lifetime of consuming the water. For these groups, shorter duration exposures present less risk. However, if you are concerned about your exposure while steps are being taken to assess and lower the PFAS6 concentration in the drinking water, use of bottled water1 will reduce your exposure.
● In most situations, the water can be safely used for washing foods, brushing teeth, bathing, and showering.
Please note: Boiling the water will not destroy PFAS6 and will somewhat increase its level due to evaporation of some of the water.
What is being done?
Our water system has taken the following pro-active measures:
● May 2022 Town Meeting appropriated funds for the design and construction of a PFAS6 filtration system to remove PFAS6 from the Fruit St. Pump Station water to levels below the MCL. That system is being designed now.
● Our other sources were sampled, and those sources did not contain PFAS6 above the MCL. ● We will continue to blend water at the Fruit St. Water Treatment Facility to reduce PFAS6 levels at this location.
● We will continue to sample our water sources for PFAS6.
● We are investigating a connection to the MWRA water supply as a long-term solution. ● We offer a bottled water rebate program for people in a sensitive subgroup in the form of a $20 monthly credit off your water bill - you may apply on our DPW website at:
● When additional information becomes available, this public notice will be updated.

Where can I get more information?
For more information, please contact the Director of Public Works, John Westerling, at 508-497-9740 or jwesterling@hopkintonma.gov, or the Water/Sewer Manager, Eric Carty, at 508-497-9765 or ericc@hopkintonma.gov, or

view our website at:
Additional information can be found at the weblinks listed below:
● MassDEP Fact Sheet – Questions and Answers for Consumers
● CDC ATSDR Information on PFAS for consumers and health professionals
● Massachusetts Department of Public Health information about PFAS in Drinking Water - https://www.mass.gov/service-details/per-and-polyfluoroalkyl-substances…

This notice is being sent to you by the Town of Hopkinton:
System ID#: 2139000 Date distributed: 3/4/22-3

Please share this information with other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses).