Water Department News & Announcements
January 29, 2020: No PFAS Concerns in Chicopee
You may have read recent news accounts about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (together abbreviated as PFAS). These are a class of human-made chemicals typically associated with manufacturing of non-stick coatings, and water proofing and stain proofing treatments. They have also been associated with certain fire-fighting foams.
PFAS are not a concern for MWRA water and have never been detected. The City of Chicopee’s drinking water is supplied from MWRA who operates Quabbin Reservoir.
MA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is working on a PFAS regulation, and recently had a public meeting where various stakeholders presented their positions. PFAS will likely continue to be in the news while DEP works on a final regulation.
MWRA has placed a consumer notice on their website: http://www.mwra.com/01news/2019/091719-no-pfas.html which may have helpful answers to any inquiries you may have regarding your local drinking water.
PFAS would not be expected to be found since MWRA’s reservoirs, the Quabbin and Wachusett, are very well protected, and mostly surrounded by conservation land.
Below is a list of the PFASs that MWRA has tested for and did not find:
• Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
• Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)
• Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA)
• Perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS)
• Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA)
• Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS)
For more information on PFAS from DEP including fact sheets for consumers, please go to https://www.mass.gov/service-details/per-and-polyfluoroalkyl-substances-pfas-in-drinking-water.
November 1, 2019: Hydrant Flushing Complete
All night time hydrant flushing operations have ceased for the 2019 calendar year. The Water Department would like to thank the residents of Chicopee for their cooperation. The 2020 Hydrant Flushing Program will begin mid-spring (weather permitting).
October 3, 2019: Reporting Taste or Odor Issues
If you are having any issues with taste or odor in your drinking water, please contact the Chicopee Water Treatment Plant at: 413-594-1870 so we can report any issues to MWRA. For further information on MWRA, please follow the link here:
August 28, 2019: Metallic-Tasting Algae in Reservoir
Starting in early August, an algae bloom occurred in the Quabbin reservoir. While the presence of low levels of algae (naturally occurring microscopic plants) is a sign of a healthy reservoir, this particular bloom consists of Chrysosphaerella algae, which leaves a metallic taste to tap water. The bloom is being monitored by Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and MWRA three days per week. Staff are collecting samples in the reservoir, performing microscopic analyses, and identifying and counting the algae concentrations. MWRA is also communicating with each of the Chicopee Valley Aqueduct communities several times per week. In addition, water quality is monitored continuously with on-line analyzers immediately before and after treatment at the Brutsch Water Treatment Facility, as well as further downstream. While this algae bloom presents a nuisance taste and odor condition, the water remains safe to drink. In the meantime, chilling water in the refrigerator and/or adding lemon is the easiest way to improve the taste.
This Chrysosphaerella bloom occurred starting around Aug 6. Chrysosphaerella is a golden brown algae of the Chrysophyte family. Blooms of nuisance algae are very rare in Quabbin Reservoir; the last bloom causing taste complaints occurred in 1996 from another golden brown chrysophyte, Synura. It is expected that this bloom will decline soon as nutrient levels in Quabbin are naturally low, and unlikely to support such a bloom for a long period.
More information about Quabbin Reservoir and water quality is available at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority's website.