Dec 31, 2000

2000 Water Quality Report

2000 Consumer Confidence Report

Category: Annual Water Quality Report
Posted by: admin

2000 Annual Water Quality Report

2000 Water Quality Report (.pdf)

Consumer Confidence Report
January 2001
PWS ID #4126000
Issue 3

The Harwich Water Department is pleased to present to its customers the 2001 Annual Consumer Confidence Report. In this brochure you will find what is in your water, the results of the tests performed in the last year, and how it is treated. 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.

If you would like to know more about the Water Department, Board of Water Commissioners meetings are held at 8:15 am on the first and third Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise posted and are open to the public. Commissioner Meeting minutes are available on our website.

Consult our web site at and, for further information, see U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water information at (opens in new window) which is linked to our Web site. If you have any questions regarding this report, please contact Superintendent Craig Wiegand at 508-432-0304.

The Harwich Water Department produced a total of 644,636,400 gallons of water in 2000. This averages out to over 1,766,000 million gallons per day. One hundred thirty three services were added throughout the year bringing the total to 9,179 accounts.

During 2000, the department collected over 550 samples for general water chemistry and over 75 for regulated contaminants.


  • The Harwich Water Department will continue to chlorinate during the spring and fall hydrant flushing program.
  • The Department will continue conducting a Water 101 course for its customers. This course will give a general overview of the water industry. Interested parties should contact the office.
  • A voluntary water restriction will again be in effect this coming summer. We urge residents to conserve water whenever possible. The summer of 2002 is forecasted to be as dry as the past few years.
  • February l, 2001, Superintendent, Kenneth J Bulley, resigned. Senior Administrative assistant, Deborah Fuller, is the Acting Superintendent. Daniel Hanley, formerly of Earth Tech, has joined the staff as Secondary Operator and Distribution Foreman. The number of staff the Water Department has is 12 including the office staff. All personnel, except for the two office clerks, are now certified by the state for water distribution and 8 have water treatment 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.

Also, 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. The water department is waiting for DEP's comments before it is released to the public.

General Water Chemistry

The quality of drinking water is a subject that is frequently discussed, but more often misunderstood. Just a few years ago we seldom questioned the water we drank. In the past few years technology has given us the ability to measure small amounts of contaminates. Along with technology comes public awareness and more Federal and State regulations. Even with today's technology some people still question the safety of the water and turn to alternative sources for drinking water. 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 in some cases, 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 came 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 stormwater runoff, industrial, or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, and farming. (C) Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban runoff, and residential uses. (D) Organic chemical contaminants-including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, 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, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prescribe regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water that must provide the same protection for public health. All drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts 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 EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-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 some infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health agents. EPA/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) quidelines on lowering the risk of infection by microbial contaminants are also available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline.

Water Sampling Test Results

Contaminant90th Percentile# of sites exceeded# of sites sampled on 7/04Sites above Action LevelAction LevelMCLGViolationPossible source of contamination
Lead 0.002 0 30 N/A 15ppb 0 No Corrosion of household plumbing system. Erosion of natural deposits.
Copper 0.85 0 30 0 1.3mg/l 1.3 No Corrosion of household plumbing system. Erosion of natural deposit.


Inorganic Contaminants
Regulated ContaminantsDate CollectedHighest Detect ValueRange DetectedAverage DetectedMCLMCLGPossible SourceViolation
Nitrate   3.2 0.8-3.2   10 10 Erosion of natural deposits leaching from septage tanks NO
Nitrite 3/1999 0.4 0.4   1.0 1.0 Erosion of natural deposits leaching from septage tanks NO


TOTAL COLIFORMHighest # Positive In a monthMCLMCLGViolationPossible Source
6 <1 0 Y Naturally present in the environment

Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and indicate that other potentially harmful bacteria may be present. Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems.
On November 8, 2000, the Harwich Water Department received a Notice of Non-Compliance for a MCL Violation of Total Coliform Bacteria. The description of the Non-Compliance was as follows:

  1. On 9/13/00 Harwich Water Dept. was informed that 2 routine samples collected on 9/12/00, were positive for total coliform bacteria. Repeat samples, which were collected on 9/14/00 indicated four (4) sampling locations were positive for total coliform bacteria. The above constitutes an exceedance of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for total coliform bacteria.
  2. The Department of Environmental Protection was not notified of this exceedance until September 19, 2000.
In response to the violation, the water department began chlorinating the system and took the Brooks Park Tank off line until all samples were to be found negative of bacteria.
Unregulated or Secondary ContaminantsDate CollectedHighest Detect ValueRange Low-HighAverage DetectSMCLORSG
pH 7/2000 6.4 5.5-6.4 5.9 6.5-8.5 N/A
Chloride 7/2000 64 6.0-64.0 29 250 ppm N/A
Copper 7/2000 1.74 .02-1.74 0.86 1 ppm N/A
Radon 3/1999 95(+/-36) 95 95 N/A 10,000 pCi/l
Sodium 2000 0.14 30 N/A N/A 20 ppm
Sulfate 7/2000 10.7 5.8-10.7 8.25 250 ppm N/A
Zinc 7/2000 <.01-.23 0.23 0.11 5 ppm N/A

Additional language required by EPA and DEP

Radon is a radioactive gas that you can not see, taste, or smell. It is found throughout the United States. Radon can move up through the ground and into a home through cracks and holes in the foundation. Radon can build up to high levels in all types of homes. Radon can also get into indoor air when released from tap water from showering, washing dishes, and other household activities. Compared to radon entering the home through soil, radon entering the home through tap water will in most cases be a small source of radon in indoor air. Radon is a known human carcinogen. Breathing air containing radon can lead to lung cancer. Drinking water containing radon can lead to lung cancer. Drinking water containing radon may also cause increase risk of stomach cancer. If you are concerned about radon in your home, test the air in your home. Testing is inexpensive and easy. Fix your home if the level of radon in your air is 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/l) or higher. There are simple ways to fix a radon problem that aren't too costly. For information, call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Radon Program at 413-586-7525 or call EPA's Radon Hotline( 800.SOS.RADON).

Lead: 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 levels in your home's water, you may wish to have your water tested and flush your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using tap water that has sat unused for awhile. Additional information is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800.426.4791.

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