Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Public Education

In October 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) promulgated a new drinking water regulation and maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 20 nanograms per liter (ng/L) – also referred to as parts per trillion (ppt) 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 synthetic chemicals that have been used in the manufacturing of certain fire-fighting foams, moisture and stain resistant products, industrial processes, and many other consumer products.

 Recently, the Westford Water Department (Water Department) identified an elevated level of PFAS6 in the drinking water during routine (quarterly) monitoring at the Forge Village Water Treatment Plant (WTP).  Even though the level is above the MCL, a PFAS6 MCL violation has not occurred, as violations are based on three months of testing.  Instead, we are required to ensure that our customers are aware of the elevated levels (by providing public education materials) so they can make informed decisions about their drinking water while we continue to monitor the water supply.   

Please visit the  PFAS Public Education for additional information (will also be mailed to our customers).  

For information on private wells and PFAS click on PFAS in Private Well Drinking Water Supplies FAQ .  

Westford Water Department Compliance Monitoring:  Update  January 11, 2021

The December PFAS6 results have been received.   Forge Village WTP: 3.3 ppt; Nutting Road WTP:  15.4 ppt (both results are pending laboratory data review by the MassDEP).  Both of these results are below the MassDEP maximum contaminant level (mcl) of 20ppt.   Future monthly results will be reported on this website.    For source well sampling results click SOURCE WELL DATA .

PFAS6 Results for Forge Village Water Treatment Plant

Quarterly

Compliance Period

Monitoring Period

PFAS6 Result (ng/L)

*Quarterly Average (ng/L)

PFAS6 MCL (ng/L)

Quarter 2, 2021

April

12.7

15

20

May

13.5

June

19.5

Quarter 3, 2021

July

20.6

10

20

August

6.3

September

3.4

 

October

2.9

6.6

20


Quarter 4, 2021

November

 3.3

 

December

 7.1

* Quarterly averages are calculated by adding the three-monthly sample results from within the quarter and dividing by three.  If any sample result would cause the quarterly average to exceed the MCL, the PFAS6 MCL has been violated.  

All results are in ng/L (ppt).  














PFAS6 Results for Nutting Road Water Treatment Plant

Quarterly

Compliance Period

Monitoring Period

PFAS6 Result (ng/L)

*Quarterly Average (ng/L)

PFAS6 MCL (ng/L)

Quarter 2, 2021

April

14.2

16

20

May

17.4

June

16.1

Quarter 3, 2021

July

17.8

17

20

August

17.2

September

16.0

 

October

16.8

16.4

 20


Quarter 4, 2021

November

15.4 

 

December

17.1 

* Quarterly averages are calculated by adding the three-monthly sample results from within the quarter and dividing by three.  If any sample result would cause the quarterly average to exceed the MCL, the PFAS6 MCL has been violated.  

All results are in ng/L (ppt).      


Westford Water Department Source Sampling Summary

The Westford Water Department uses 9 groundwater wells/wellfields for source water.    A second sample was collected from the Country Road 2 well on November 10, 2021.   The Country Road 2 well was removed from service upon receipt of the July sample results (August 2021), and remains offline.    Below are results for PFAS samples collected in July 2021.  

 

PFAS6
Source Well/Wellfieldng/L
Nutting Road Well (1&2 Combined)9.1
Nutting Road Well #112.3
Nutting Road Well #26.5
Depot Road Well12.8
Stepinski Well18.3
Cote Well13
Forge 1 Wellfield7.4
Forge 2 Well2.9
Country Road 2 Well58.8/194*
Fletcher Well8.8
Howard Road Wellfield2.9

*The 194 ng/L result was from sample collected on 11/10/2021