Dec 31, 1999

1999 Water Quality Report

1999 Consumer Confidence Report

Category: Annual Water Quality Report
Posted by: admin

1999 Annual Water Quality Report

1999 Water Quality Report (.pdf)

Consumer Confidence Report
January 2000
PWS ID #4126000
Issue 2

This report explains how drinking water provided by the Harwich Water Department is of the highest quality. Included in this report is a listing of results from water-quality tests, tips on how to interpret the data as well as an explanation of where our water comes from. This "Consumer Confidence Report" is required by law, but we are proud to share our results with you. Please read them carefully.

We are proud to report that the water provided by the Harwich Water Dept. meets or exceeds established water quality standards.

Board of Water Commissioner's meetings are held twice a month. Call the office for information about the next opportunity to participate in decisions about our distribution system and drinking water.

Consult our web site at and, for further information, see U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water information at

In 1999, your water department distributed 710,729,600 gallons of water to the Town of Harwich customers. One hundred seventy eight services were added throughout the year, bringing the total to 9,046 accounts. The development of new subdivisions and the extension of water mains on 8 Town roads added 2.49 miles of water mains to the distribution system. Hydrants were increased by 34, bringing the total number to 1,205 in the Town.


  • The Harwich Water Department was honored to receive the 1999 DEP awards for Best Overall System and Top Ten of the medium and large Public Water Systems in the state.
  • Pumping Station #11 in East Harwich is now complete and in service.
  • Temporary disinfection continues at Station #10 in North Harwich, in response to taste and odor complaints.
  • A voluntary water restriction will again be in effect this coming summer. We urge residents to conserve water whenever possible. The summer of 2000 is forecasted to be as dry as 99's.
  • This year the department has already seen many changes, along with a new billing software program, new reading software and hardware, the new Superintendent, Kenneth J Bulley, is a nine year employee of the department. In the office, the position of Senior Administrative Assistant is now held by Deborah Fuller. The number of staff the Water Department has is 13 including the office staff, 9 are now certified by the state for water distribution and water teatment grade licenses.

Harwich's Water Source

Map The Town of Harwich is supplied by groundwater from fourteen(14) gravel packed wells. Our wellfield are located in South, East and North Harwich, which draw water from the Monomoy Lens Aquifer. The Main Station tubular wellfield and Stations One (1) through Four (4) are located off of Chatham Road, behind the Water Departments main office and garages. Station Five (5), Six (6) and Seven (7) are located off of Depot Road in South Harwich, next to the bike path. Stations Eight (8) and Nine (9) are off of Bay Road in East Harwich, Station Ten (10) is in North Harwich off of North Westgate Road on the Brewster Town line and Station number Eleven (11) is located off of Pleasant Bay Road in East Harwich.

During 1998, a source-water assessment plan (SWAP) was completed for The Harwich Water Department by The Department of Environmental Protection (D.E.P.) agency, which shows the surrounding areas of the zones of contribution to the Town wells. Copies of this report are available from D.E.P., One Winter Street, Boston MA. 02108, or by telephone at 1-617-292-5500.

General Water Chemistry

In 1999 Harwich Water Department personnel collected over 500 samples for general water chemistry and over 75 for regulated contaminants. The following results are averages for general water chemistry samples taken in the field:
Calcium - 3.1 ppm No MCL
Sodium - 14.4 ppm AL = 20 ppm
Managanese - 0.06 ppm MCL = 0.015 ppm
Iron - 0.48 ppm MCL = 0.30 ppm
Potassium - 16.7 ppm No MCL
Hardness - 20.0 ppm No MCL

Water Conservation is important for all to practice both outside and inside. Some tips are:

  • Check all outside faucets for leaks, they are silent culprits, most often caused by worn washers.
  • Check toilets, they may have silent leaks that can't be detected. Water dept. can provide test kits for toilet leaks.
  • Use automatic dish and clothes washing machines with full loads only.
  • Outside; watering two or three times a week in the early morning (5-8 am) or evening (6-9 pm) is all that is needed.

Concerning Lead in Our Water
Infants and young children are typically more vulnerable to lead in drinking water than the general population. It is possible that lead levels at your home may be higher than at other homes in the community as a result of materials used in your home's plumbing. If you are concerned about elevated lead levels in your home's water, you may wish to have your water tested. The longer water resides in your home's plumbing the higher the lead level may be. Flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using tap water also helps in reducing levels. Additional info is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

Unregulated Contaminants
During testing, our water showed a radon level of 1 picocuries per liter (pCi/l). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing a regulation which will specify a Maximum Contaminant Level for radon. Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in ground water and is released from water into the air during household use. At high exposure levels it can cause lung cancer. Radon readings in our water are low and should not cause concern.

Water Sampling Test Results

ContaminantDate TestedMCLContaminantDate TestedMCLMCL
Water Sampling Test Results
ContaminantDate TestedUnitMCLMCLGDetected LevelRangeViolationMajor Sources
Lead 7/20/99 ppb AL = 15 0 28 1-28 NO Corrosion of household plumbing system. Erosion of natural deposits.
Nitrate 2/24/99 ppm 10 10 2.10 0.10-2.10 NO Runoff from fertilizer use; Leaching from septic tank; Erosion of natural deposit
Copper 7/20/99 ppm AL = 1.3 1.3 1.11 0.06-1.11 NO Corrosion of household plumbing system. Erosion of natural deposit. Leaching from wood preservatives


Radioactive Contaminants
ContaminantDate TestedUnitMCLMCLGDetected LevelRangeViolationMajor Sources
Alpha Emitters 4/2/99 Pci/L 15 0 .4   NO Erosion of natural deposit


Volatile Organic Contaminants
ContaminantDate TestedUnitMCLMCLGDetected LevelRangeMajor Sources
Chloroform 3/16/99 ppb 5 0 3.1 0.0-3.1 NO By-product from drinking water chlorination and naturally forming in coastal areas

Legend to Table
AL= Action Level pCi/l = picocuries per liter (a measure of radioactivity)
MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level PPM = parts per million or miligrams per liter (mg/l)
MCLG = Maximum Contaminant Goal Ppb = parts per billion, or micrograms per liter (ug/l)

An Explanation of the Water-Quality Data Table
Our water is tested regularly to assure that it is safe and healthy for the residents of Harwich. The column marked Maximum Detected shows the highest test result during the year. Sources of Contaminant shows where this substance usually originates Columns headed MCL and MCLG refer to:
Maximum Contaminant level or MCL: The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCL's are set close to the MCLG's as feasible using the best available technology.
Maximum Contaminant Level Goal or MCLG: The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLG's allow for a margin of safety.
Action Level (AL): The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow.

Required Additional Health Information
To ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes limits on the amount of contaminants in water provided by a public water system. FDA regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water. Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least a small amount of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791). The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers; lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals and radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. Contaminants that may be present in source water include: (A) Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife. (B) Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban storm runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming. (C) Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, stormwater runoff, and residential uses. (D) Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organics, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff and septic systems. (E) Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities. In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. FDA regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health. Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than is the general population. Immune-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

This report was prepared by the Harwich Water Depatment staff with technical assistance provided by the American Water Works Association. For further information please call our office at 508 432-0304 and we will be happy to answer any questions about the Harwich Water Department and our water quality. David Condrey is the Secondary Operator and handles the water sampling program. David can answer questions about sampling procedures and can answer any specific concerns you may have. Water Quality Data for community water systems throughout the United States is available at Learn more about the Harwich Water Department water system at

next previous