BackgroundIn 2013 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified contaminants of concern, that being the family of perfluorinated carbons. The EPA issued a health advisory of 600 parts per trillion (ppt) for two of these compounds. All Westfield drinking water sources were below the advisory levels. In late 2015 the Water Division of the Department of Public Works (DPW) became aware a new health advisory was imminent. Out of an abundance of caution, and before said advisory was issued, the department ceased use of wells 7 & 8. Test results for these sources were substantially higher than levels in wells 1 & 2. The DPW proactively began addressing the issue by investigating alternatives, including carbon filtration on impacted wells.
In May of 2016 EPA did indeed update the advisory with new levels of 70 ppt combined for the two compounds. In February 2018, the Water Division was notified that Mass DEP was issuing a new advisory that would include five long chain compounds, as opposed to the two identified by EPA, with the same 70 ppt combined level. Again, the department reacted immediately and removed Well 2 from service, leaving Well 1 the only active source on the North side of the city.
Current StatusTemporary Treatment Well 2 – The city has temporary Granular Activated Carbon Filtration treatment on city owned land at Well 2. This temporary treatment is expected to be online until permanent treatment solutions are in place.
Owen District Road Treatment Plant (Wells 7& 8) – Contractor RH White is on site and the project is under way. Construction has continued over the winter with water delivery expected Summer 2019. An additional treatment facility for Wells 1 & 2 is under design.
This video should clarify any misunderstandings and explains the process followed to ensure clean safe drinking water will be available to the people of Westfield for years to come.
Educational Video "Troubled Waters: The Fight Against PFAS" or watch below.