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Town Meeting Approves Funds to Cover PFAS Water Supply

According to DPW Director John Sanchez, due to the levels of PFAS in the town’s water supply, Burlington was Directed by Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MASSDEP) to open its emergency pipe connection to the MWRA through Lexington. The opening of the Lexington pipeline reduces the amount of contaminants in the water, but the water supply won’t be free of PFAS until the new $15 million filtration plant comes online sometime around December.

PFAS are a family of manmade chemicals used for non-stick coatings and firefighting foams among a list of other products. Manufacturing of certain PFAS was discontinued in the U.S. decades ago, but they may still be used in imported products and they are resilient and do not degrade easily in soil and water and as a result, they are widely found in the environment and many consumer products where they migrate to the food supply and drinking water.

This connection has been open since May 2021. The town has been taking approximately 1 million gallons per day from this connection and anticipate a total purchase of about 383 million gallons, or $1.7 million for FY22.

For FY22 the town had only budgeted for the purchase of 150 million gallons, or $674,000 to supplement our local water production during the summer in order to meet daily water demands.