* Photo credit- Sandy Puckett
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER
Randolph/Holbrook Water Board has levels of PFAS6 above the Drinking Water Standard
This report contains important information about your drinking water. Please translate it or speak with someone who understands it or ask the contact listed below for a translation. Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
Haitian Creole: Rapor ci la gen informasion importan sou dlopou bwè. Join youn moun pou tradui-l pou ou bien pale avek youn moun ki kompran-li.
Vietnamese: Báo cáo này chứa thông tin quan trọng về nước uống của bạn. Nhờ ai đó dịch nó cho bạn hoặc nói chuyện với người hiểu về nó."
Our water system recently violated a drinking water standard for the sum of six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (known as PFAS6 - see information about these six compounds below) and we are taking a number of corrective actions (see below). The drinking water standard is applicable to a lifetime of consuming the impacted water, however, sensitive subgroups, including pregnant or nursing women, infants and people diagnosed by their health care provider to have a compromised immune system, should consider using bottled water that has been tested for PFAS6, for their drinking water, cooking of foods that absorb water (like pasta) and to make infant formula. We are providing an alternative source of water for residents concerned about consuming water with PFAS at the Bluedrop Water Filling Stations available at no cost anytime at the following locations:
Randolph Residents: Located behind the Department of Public Works (DPW) Building, 6 Carlino Way, Randolph
Holbrook Residents: Stanney’s Restaurant, 300 Union Street, Holbrook.
What does this mean?
This is not an emergency. If it had been, you would have been notified within 24 hours. Although this is not an emergency, as our customer, you have the right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation.
On October 2, 2020, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) promulgated a new drinking water regulation and maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 20 nanograms per liter (ng/L or parts per trillion - ppt) for the sum of six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (called PFAS6). Our water system proactively and voluntarily sampled for PFAS6 prior to the new regulations. See our latest results in the table below.
PFAS6 Results for Randolph/Holbrook Joint Water Plant
Sample Collection Date
PFAS6 Result (ng/L)
PFAS6 MCL (ng/L)
Quarter 2, 2021
Quarter 1, 2021
* A quarterly average exceeding 20 is a violation of the PFAS6 Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL).
Our results are above the MCL for PFAS6. Even though we have been notifying you of our results since we began collecting samples, we must provide you with this Public Notice to comply with the drinking water regulations.
Some people who drink water containing these PFAS 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 PFAS may also elevate the risk of certain cancers. For more information on PFAS6 see the attached factsheet and weblinks listed 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. For more information see the MassDEP factsheet and weblinks below.
What do I need to do?
- Consumers in a sensitive subgroup (pregnant or nursing women, infants and people diagnosed by their health care provider to have a compromised immune system), are advised not to consume, drink, or cook with water when the level of PFAS6 is above 20 ng/L.
- Consumers in sensitive subgroups are advised to use bottled water for drinking and cooking of foods that absorb water (like pasta).
- For infant formula, use bottled water or use formula that does not require adding water.
- For older children and adults not in a sensitive subgroup, the 20 ng/L value is applicable to a lifetime of consuming the water. For these groups, shorter duration exposures present less risk. However, if you are concerned about your exposure while steps are being taken to assess and lower the PFAS concentration in the drinking water, use of bottled water will reduce your exposure.
- Bottled water should only be used if it has been tested. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health requires companies licensed to sell or distribute bottled water or carbonated non-alcoholic beverages to test for PFAS. See https://www.mass.gov/info-details/water-quality-standards-for-bottled-water-in-massachusetts#list-of-bottlers-
- Home water treatment systems that are certified to remove PFAS by an independent testing group such as NSF, UL, or Water Quality Association may be used to treat the water. These may include point of entry systems, which treat all the water entering a home, or point of use devices, which treat water where it is used, such as at a faucet. For information on selecting home treatment devices that are effective in treating the water for PFAS6, review the MassDEP factsheet for consumers referenced below.
- In most situations the water can be safely used for washing foods, brushing teeth, bathing, and showering.
- Boiling the water will not destroy PFAS6 and will somewhat increase its level due to evaporation of some of the water.
- If you have specific health concerns regarding exposure, you should see the Centers for Disease Control’s link below and consult a health professional, such as your doctor.
For more information see the MassDEP factsheet and weblinks listed below.
What is being done?
The Randolph/Holbrook Water Board has taken the following pro-active measures:
- We will continue to sample our water sources for PFAS.
- When additional information becomes available, this Public Notice will be updated, per MassDEP regulations.
- A new Tri-Town Water Treatment Plant is being designed (currently 90%) and constructed an dis expected to be completed in 2024,
- As mentioned above PFAS free water is being made available for residents concerned about consuming water with PFAS, particularly the sensitive subgroups (pregnant or nursing women, infants and people diagnosed by their health care provider to have a compromised immune system) at BlueDrop Filling Stations at the locations identified above.
Where can I get more information?
This notice is being sent to you by:
Randolph/Holbrook Water Board
System ID#: 4244001
Date distributed: 11/2021
We will provide public notice updates every three months until the situation has been resolved.
For a PDF version of this information, please click here.