The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


Maynard Dpw, Water Division - Woburn, MA


Serves 10,037 people - Test data available: 2004-2009

This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. It is part of EWG's national database that includes 47,667 drinking water utilities and 20 million test results. Water utilities nationwide detected more than 300 pollutants between 2004 and 2009. More than half of these chemicals are unregulated, legal in any amount. Despite this widespread contamination, the federal government invests few resources to protecting rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater from pollution in the first place. The information below summarizes test results for this utility and lists potential health concerns.

 
This Drinking Water System
National Average
Exceed Health GuidelinesTests showing chemicals at concentrations above health guidelines established by federal and state health agencies. These guidelines are typically set at a levels that pose no significant health risk.
12 chemicals
4
Health Standard ExceedencesChemicals detected at concentrations above the legal limit, the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCLs) established by the U.S. EPA. Most MCLs are based on annual averages, so exceeding the MCL for one test does not necessarily indicate that the system is out of compliance.
2 chemicals
0.5
Pollutants FoundThe total number of contaminants detected since 2004, according to data provided by the state water agency.
20 chemicals
8
Tests ConductedThe total number of number of water quality tests conducted by water utilities and recorded in data provided by the state water agency.
2,397 tests
420

Contaminants Exceeding Health Guidelines

ContaminantAverage/
Maximum
Result
Health Limit
Exceeded
Legal Limit
Exceeded

Testing History

-Tested      -Detected      -Over Health Guidelines      -Over Legal Limit*
ManganeseManganese is a naturally occurring element released from mineral deposits as well as industrial use.209.17 ppb
1270 ppb
Yes
50 ppb
Yes
50 ppb
Arsenic (total)Arsenic contaminates drinking water due to mining runoff, erosion of natural deposits, emissions from glass and electronics processing and the use of arsenical compounds as wood preservatives and pesticides.1.91 ppb
16 ppb
Yes
MCLGA non-enforceable health goal that is set at a level at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons occurs and which allows an adequate margin of safety. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.: 0 ppb
Yes
10 ppb
BromodichloromethaneBromodichloromethane is a disinfection byproduct from the trihalomethane (THM) family, and is formed when chlorine, chloramines or other disinfectants react with organic and inorganic matter in water.3.51 ppb
20.87 ppb
Yes
MCLGA non-enforceable health goal that is set at a level at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons occurs and which allows an adequate margin of safety. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.: 0 ppb
No
80 ppb
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)Total trihalomethanes constitute the sum of four disinfection byproducts: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform.15.48 ppb
59.1 ppb
Yes
9.8 ppb
No
80 ppb
DibromochloromethaneDibromochloromethane is a disinfection byproduct from the trihalomethane (THM) family, and is formed when chlorine, chloramines or other disinfectants react with organic and inorganic matter in water.0.86 ppb
2.17 ppb
Yes
0.4 ppb
No
80 ppb
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs)Total haloacetic acids refers to the sum of the concentrations of five related disinfection byproducts in a water sample: dichloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid, monochloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid and dibromoacetic acid.6.79 ppb
23.2 ppb
Yes
0.7 ppb
No
60 ppb
ChloroformChloroform is a disinfection byproduct from the trihalomethane (THM) family, and is formed when chlorine, chloramines or other disinfectants react with organic and inorganic matter in water.8.3 ppb
52.2 ppb
Yes
5.7 ppb
No
80 ppb
BenzeneBenzene is a petroleum chemical that contaminates drinking water due to emissions from petroleum and chemical industries, leaching landfills and gas storage tanks.0.42 ppb
3.67 ppb
Yes
MCLGA non-enforceable health goal that is set at a level at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons occurs and which allows an adequate margin of safety. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.: 0 ppb
No
5 ppb
BromoformBromoform is a disinfection byproduct from the trihalomethane (THM) family, and is formed when chlorine, chloramines or other disinfectants react with organic and inorganic matter in water.0.03 ppb
0.35 ppb
Yes
MCLGA non-enforceable health goal that is set at a level at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons occurs and which allows an adequate margin of safety. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.: 0 ppb
No
80 ppb
Carbon tetrachlorideCarbon tetrachloride is an industrial solvent and refrigerant released as a pollutant from various chemical plants and the petroleum refining industry.0.02 ppb
0.2 ppb
Yes
MCLGA non-enforceable health goal that is set at a level at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons occurs and which allows an adequate margin of safety. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.: 0 ppb
No
5 ppb
TrichloroethyleneTrichloroethylene is used to remove grease from fabricated metal parts and in the production of some textiles; this pollutant comes from metal degreasing sites, metal finishing and rubber processing industries.0.04 ppb
0.5 ppb
Yes
MCLGA non-enforceable health goal that is set at a level at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons occurs and which allows an adequate margin of safety. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.: 0 ppb
No
5 ppb
RadonRadon is a radioactive breakdown product of radium and uranium in soil, rock and water; it is often present in groundwater.1700 pCi/L
1700 pCi/L
Yes
1.5 pCi/L
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
NOTE: Each dot in the above graph represents one month.
* Water utilities are noted as exceeding the legal limit if any test is above the maximum contaminant level (MCL). Most MCLs are based on annual averages so exceeding the MCL for one test does not necessarily indicate that the system is out of compliance.

Other Detected Contaminants

ContaminantAverage/
Maximum
Result
Health Limit
Exceeded
Legal Limit
Exceeded

Testing History

-Tested      -Detected      -Over Health Guidelines      -Over Legal Limit*
EthylbenzeneEthylbenzene is a pollutant from petroleum refineries and industrial chemical factories; it is also used to make plastics, and may be present as an impurity in some insecticides.0.44 ppb
2.9 ppb
No
300 ppb
No
700 ppb
MTBEMTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether) is a fuel additive that had been used as an octane enhancer in unleaded gasoline; it contaminates groundwater due to spillage or leakage at gas stations, and has been banned or scheduled for phaseout in most states.0.08 ppb
0.5 ppb
No
13 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
PerchloratePerchlorate 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.0.22 ppb
0.88 ppb
No
5 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
NitrateNitrate enters drinking water sources from fertilizer runoff, leaching septic tanks, and erosion of natural deposits; it is also emitted by chemical, petrochemical and metal-finishing industries.0.13 ppm
0.42 ppm
No
10 ppm
No
10 ppm
ChloromethaneChloromethane is a naturally occuring chemical that forms during combustion of plant material; it may be released from the manufacture of silicone, rubber and pesticides, and also forms as a byproduct of water disinfection.0.06 ppb
0.55 ppb
No
30 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
Xylenes (total)Xylenes are a group of chemicals produced from petroleum and released as pollutants from chemical, plastics and synthetic fiber industries as well as printing, painting, and laboratory uses.0.56 ppb
4.73 ppb
No
1800 ppb
No
10000 ppb
BromochloromethaneBromochloromethane is a tap water disinfection byproduct; it is also used as an intermediate in chemical manufacturing and a fire extinguishing agent.0.03 ppb
0.37 ppb
No
50 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
Barium (total)Barium is a mineral that enters drinking water through drilling and mining waste runoff, discharges from chemical industries and erosion of natural deposits.15 ppb
30 ppb
No
700 ppb
No
2000 ppb
NOTE: Each dot in the above graph represents one month.
* Water utilities are noted as exceeding the legal limit if any test is above the maximum contaminant level (MCL). Most MCLs are based on annual averages so exceeding the MCL for one test does not necessarily indicate that the system is out of compliance.

Contaminants Not Detected - 101 chemicals

1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, 1,1-Dichloropropene, 1,2 Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2-Dichloroethane, 1,2-Dichloropropane, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, 1,3-Dichloropropane, 1,3-Dichloropropene, 2,2-Dichloropropane, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), 2,4-d, 3-Hydroxycarbofuran, Alachlor (Lasso), Aldicarb, Aldicarb sulfone, Aldicarb sulfoxide, Aldrin, Antimony (total), Aroclor 1016, Aroclor 1221, Aroclor 1232, Aroclor 1242, Aroclor 1248, Aroclor 1254, Aroclor 1260, Atrazine, Benzo[a]pyrene, Beryllium (total), Bromate, Bromobenzene, Bromomethane, Butachlor, Cadmium (total), Carbaryl, Carbofuran, Chlordane, Chlorite, Chloroethane, Chromium (total), cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Cyanide, Dalapon, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Dibromomethane, Dicamba, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Dieldrin, Dinoseb, Endrin, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Hexachlorobutadiene, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Isopropylbenzene, Lindane, m-Dichlorobenzene, Mercury (total inorganic), Methomyl, Methoxychlor, Metolachlor, Metribuzin, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), n-Butylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Naphthalene, Nitrite, o-Chlorotoluene, o-Dichlorobenzene, Oxamyl (Vydate), p-Chlorotoluene, p-Dichlorobenzene, p-Isopropyltoluene, p-Xylene, Pentachlorophenol, Picloram, Propachlor, sec-Butylbenzene, Selenium (total), Simazine, Styrene, tert-Butylbenzene, Tetrachloroethylene, Thallium (total), Toluene, Toxaphene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Vinyl chloride

Pollution Summary

20Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)

Barium (total), Nitrate, Chloromethane, MTBE, Bromochloromethane, Xylenes (total), Ethylbenzene, Perchlorate, Arsenic (total), Manganese, Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromoform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Carbon tetrachloride, Trichloroethylene, Benzene, Radon

4Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Nitrate, Ethylbenzene, Perchlorate, Arsenic (total)

5Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Nitrate, MTBE, Xylenes (total), Arsenic (total), Benzene

13Industrial Pollutants

Barium (total), Nitrate, Chloromethane, MTBE, Bromochloromethane, Xylenes (total), Ethylbenzene, Perchlorate, Arsenic (total), Manganese, Carbon tetrachloride, Trichloroethylene, Benzene

8Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Bromoform, Chloromethane, Bromochloromethane

6Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Nitrate, Barium (total), Arsenic (total), Manganese, Radon, Chloromethane

5Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Chloromethane, MTBE, Bromochloromethane, Perchlorate, Radon

EPA Violation Summary

Violation CategoryNumber of Violations
Monitoring
(click see violations)
16

Information on violations is drawn directly from EPA's national violations database in the Agency's Safe Drinking Water Information System. Analyses by others have raised questions about the quality of the information in EPA's database. For the purposes of this investigation, EWG is not showing below or including in our analyses, those violations for individual water suppliers that occurred on days for which the total number of violations assigned by EPA to that water supplier was greater than 20. This criteria was based on common characteristics of incorrect violations data as identified by water utilities, from a review of EPA's violations data by several hundred utilities prior to the release of EWG's investigation.