The Andover Water Division did not complete all testing for pH and bromate, and “therefore cannot be sure of the quality of your drinking water during that time,” according to the 2022 Drinking Water Quality Report released Wednesday.

The report also noted the omission was not reported to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Ph testing is used to measured corrosion control efforts, while bromate can cause cancer when people drink water containing it over a period of several years. When tests were conducted in 2022, levels of each were below maximum standards.

The report said it had been following a “reduced monitoring protocol” for bromate testing and was only testing quarterly instead of monthly. The Division began testing monthly when it contracted with a new lab in July.

6 More Key Points From The Report

If you don’t have time to read the 16-page document, here are some other key takeaways:

  1. Andover has usually been the envy of other nearby towns, which often have to impose outdoor watering restrictions during dry stretches during the summer. That may change under new DEP regulations, which would require towns to “restrict activities deemed to be nonessential outdoor water use” during declared droughts.
  2. Testing for lead, copper, and PFAS, all of which cause health problems, were below maximum levels.
  3. The Town entered a Voluntary Administrative Consent Order in April 2022 to remove lead pipes from the system. It also increased Ph levels to control corrosion and reduce the chance of lead entering drinking water.
  4. Andover was assigned a “high susceptibility ranking” under DEP’s Source Water Assessment Program based on the presence of at least one high threat land use within the water supply protection areas. “The high threat activities listed by DEP are those that typically use, produce, or store contaminants of concern, which, if managed improperly, are potential sources of contamination,” the report said. “It is important to understand that a release may never occur from the potential source, and the actual risk may be lower than the relative threat ranking assigned to it.”
  5. At points during weekly tests in 2022, Andover’s water was over the limit for coliform bacteria, which is naturally present in the environment.
  6. Andover received a 2022 Public Water System Award from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and is “in good standing” with state and federal regulators.

Andover Water System Fun Facts

  • The Water Division produces 2.7 billion gallons of water per year, or 18 million gallons per day, including 1.6 million gallons sold to North Reading.
  • The system has 257 miles of pipeline.
  • There are 14 million gallons of excess water storage built into the system.

Stock photo.

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