The DPW is happy to announce that after over two years of permitting, appropriating funds, environmental studies, design, and construction, the PFAS filters have finally been installed and are online at the Mill Pond Water Treatment facility. The initial sampling results show PFAS levels at 0 part per thousnd.
In October 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) lowered its PFAS public drinking water standard of 20 nanograms per liter/parts per trillion. In accordance with the new regulations, the Town of Burlington commenced testing for these chemicals in our water in May of 2021, and the results indicated the presence of PFAS in a concentration above the new standard. To address the problem, the town moved quickly to appropriate $15 million to install filters at its Mill Pond water treatment plant to bring Mill Pond’s water into State compliance and possible future federal compliance.
The DPW advises that there are still PFAS located at the Vinebrook Treatment facility, however this facility is currently offline and the contaminated water does not enter the town’s water system for distribution. Since it has not been formally decommissioned with MassDEP, testing must still be completed and reported even though it does not enter the distribution system. This includes continued PFAS reporting which will show levels above the State standards at this location.
Once this project and the MWRA water connection are 100% complete, the DPW will begin discussions with MassDEP regarding the possibility of formally decommissioning the Vinebrook Treatment Facility.
Check out our latest episode of BNEWS InDepth for a complete look at Burlington’s changing water supply.