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National Drinking Water Database

Perchlorate in Massachusetts

Perchlorate is a synthetic oxygen additive in solid fuel propellant for rockets, missiles, and fireworks, and is primarily used by the military and the space industry; it may occur naturally in certain imported agricultural fertilizers. [read more]

The Most Polluted Communities in Massachusetts

115 water utilities reported detecting Perchlorate in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies

Ranked by highest average Perchlorate level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
1Harvard Ridge Condominium
Boxborough, MA
64053 of 603.25 ppb
(0 to 25.05 ppb)
2Hadley Highway & Water Dept
Hadley, MA
4,7269 of 101.76 ppb
(0 to 4.1 ppb)
3Aquarion Water Company: Millbury
Millbury, MA
8,90653 of 781.44 ppb
(0 to 29.92 ppb)
4Upham Farms Condominiums
Charlton, MA
901 of 71.11 ppb
(0 to 7.8 ppb)
5Staffordshire Country Estates
Leicester, MA
1205 of 91.06 ppb
(0 to 3.27 ppb)
6Tewksbury Water Dept
Tewksbury, MA
29,77033 of 461.03 ppb
(0 to 3.49 ppb)
7Sterling Water Department
Sterling, MA
7,0664 of 80.59 ppb
(0 to 2.62 ppb)
8Southwick Water Dept
Southwick, MA
7,8564 of 50.42 ppb
(0 to 0.67 ppb)
9Westport Investment Trust
Westport, MA
356 of 90.41 ppb
(0 to 1 ppb)
10Harvard Water Department
Harvard, MA
9705 of 50.37 ppb
(0.17 to 0.56 ppb)

Health Based Limits for Perchlorate

Health-Based Screening LevelA benchmark concentration of contaminants in water that may be of potential concern for human health, if exceeded. For noncarcinogens, the HBSL represents the contaminant concentration in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse effects over a lifetime of exposure. For carcinogens, the HBSL range represents the contaminant concentration in drinking water that corresponds to an excess estimated lifetime cancer risk of 1 chance in 1 million to 1 chance in 10 thousand. Source: U.S. Geological Survey.5 ppb
California Public Health GoalsDefined by the State of California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) as the level of contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. For acutely toxic substances, levels are set at which scientific evidence indicates that no known or anticipated adverse effects on health will occur, plus an adequate margin-of safety. PHGs for carcinogens or other substances which can cause chronic disease shall be based solely on health effects without regard to cost impacts and shall be set at levels which OEHHA has determined do not pose any significant risk to health.6 ppb

Violation Summary for Perchlorate in Massachusetts

There are no violations reported for this contaminant in Massachusetts