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HomeGovernmentNorth Attleborough wells now running smoothly after past closures

North Attleborough wells now running smoothly after past closures

By Killian Maree

For the North Star Reporter

Wells in North Attleborough that opened several months ago following closures due to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are still up and running smoothly, according to town officials.

According to the Town Council Meeting that happened on June 24, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now requiring wells to have 4 parts per trillion (ppt) of PFAS, while the previous requirement is 20 ppt. Eventually, the Department of Environmental Protection will also require the wells to have a maximum of 4 ppt.

The Adamsdale well received $5.5 million and the McKeon plant $7.5 million through the Water Enterprise Fund for design and construction and are below the new EPA requirement.

“With the EPA’s regulation, we have two other point sources into our system. The Whitings Street plant… and then we have another single well called the Hillman Well… those are below the 20 parts per trillion but they are still above the EPA’s new level,” said Mark Hollowell, Department of Public Works Director.

New facilities will have to be implemented for the Whitings Street plant and the Hillman Well over the next five years.

The chemicals in PFAS6 are man-made and used in the manufacturing of certain fire-fighting foams, moisture and stain resistant products, and other industrial processes. Those who drink water containing large amounts of PFAS6 may experience adverse effects to their livers, cholesterol, thyroid, immune system, and may increase the risk of some cancers.

In October 2020, the DEP set the standard levels for PFAS6 in drinking water at 20 nanograms per liter. Monthly sampling at the McKeon Water Treatment Facility showed it had an average PFAS6 sample of 22.8 nanograms from January to March. Comparatively, the Hillman Well and the Whiting Treatment Facility had averages of 10.4 and 16.7 nanograms of PFAS6, respectively.

Another subject discussed at the Town Council Meeting was the closure of Falls Pond and the fishing advisory. The Fish Consumption Advisory is in place because the fish are bio-accumulated to the PFAS in the water. Falls Pond has reopened, while the Fish Consumption Advisory that was put into place by the DEP on May 23 is still in place.

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