The public water supply wells serving Town Hall, the Library, the Police Station, and the Sherborn Community Center have exceeded the PFAS6 MCL drinking water standard, for the period July through September 2023.
What does this mean?
This is not an emergency. Although this is not an emergency, as our customer, 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, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) promulgated a drinking water regulation and maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 20 nanograms per liter (ng/L) for the sum of six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (called PFAS6). See our latest results in the table below.
Our results are above the MCL for PFAS6. This is the quarterly average of three months’ of PFAS6 results. To comply with the drinking water regulation, we must provide you with this public notice. 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 is 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.
What is being done?
• Bottled water has been provided for consumption at all municipal buildings serviced by this public water supply well (including Town Hall, the Library, the Police Station, and the Sherborn Community Center).
• The Town is investigating alternatives for additional water treatment to remove PFAS6.
• We continue to collect regular water quality samples to monitor PFAS6 levels and will regularly report results.
Steps you can take to reduce your intake
• For older children and adults the 20 ng/L value is applicable to a lifetime of consuming the water. For these groups, shorter duration exposures present less risk.
• The use of bottled water for consumption will reduce/eliminate exposure.
• In most situations the water can safely be used for washing foods, brushing teeth, bathing, and washing hands. The pathway for exposure to PFAS6 is through ingestion.
• Boiling the water will not destroy PFAS.
• If you have specific health concerns regarding exposure, you should see the Centers for Disease Control’s link below and consult with a health professional, such as your doctor.
Where can I get additional information?
• MassDEP Fact Sheet - Questions and Answers for Consumers: https://www.mass.gov/media/185435
• CDC ATSDR Information on PFAS for consumers and health professionals: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/index.html
• Massachusetts Department of Public Health information about PFAS in Drinking Water: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/per-and-polyfluoroalkyl-substances-pfas-in-drinking-water
• Massachusetts Water Works Association PFAS6 Information for Consumers: www.safewatermass.org
Sean Killeen Jeremy Marsette
Director of Public Works Town Administrator