The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


Middleborough Water Supply - Brockton, MA


Serves 20,386 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.
1 chemicals
0.5
Pollutants FoundThe total number of contaminants detected since 2004, according to data provided by the state water agency.
16 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.
1,475 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*
CopperCopper is a naturally occuring metal and drinking water contaminant that enters tap water by corrosion of household plumbing systems and erosion of natural deposits.903.33 ppb
1370 ppb
Yes
300 ppb
Yes
1000 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.3.96 ppb
14.67 ppb
Yes
0.7 ppb
No
60 ppb
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)Total trihalomethanes constitute the sum of four disinfection byproducts: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform.8.29 ppb
36.3 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.1.29 ppb
5.2 ppb
Yes
0.4 ppb
No
80 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.1.32 ppb
6.7 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
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.1.03 ppb
2.4 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
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.2.91 ppb
23.1 ppb
Yes
5.7 ppb
No
80 ppb
TetrachloroethyleneTetrachloroethylene (perc) is a common soil and groundwater contaminant used in dry cleaning and as a solvent in automotive and metalworking factories and other industries.0.13 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
BenzeneBenzene is a petroleum chemical that contaminates drinking water due to emissions from petroleum and chemical industries, leaching landfills and gas storage tanks.0.03 ppb
0.1 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
Lead (total)Lead is a metal that enters water by corrosion of household plumbing systems, discharge of industrial pollution and erosion of natural deposits.2 ppb
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
Radium-226Radium-226 is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.1.35 pCi/L
1.35 pCi/L
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 pCi/L
No
5 pCi/L
Radium-228Radium-228 is a radioactive element usually found around uranium deposits.1.65 pCi/L
1.65 pCi/L
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 pCi/L
No
5 pCi/L
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*
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.1.41 ppb
3.8 ppb
No
13 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.0.95 ppm
1.25 ppm
No
10 ppm
No
10 ppm
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.0.08 ppb
0.19 ppb
No
5 ppb
Legal at any levelThis is the Federal Limit. State Limits may be lower.
DichlorodifluoromethaneDichlorodifluoromethane (Freon 12) is a chlorofluorocarbon refrigerant and aerosol spray propellant; it was banned under the Montreal Protocol as of 2000 because of its ozone-depleting properties.0.03 ppb
0.1 ppb
No
1000 ppb
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.

Contaminants Not Detected - 62 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, 1,2,3-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, Antimony (total), Arsenic (total), Asbestos, Barium (total), Beryllium (total), Bromobenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromomethane, Cadmium (total), Carbon tetrachloride, Chloroethane, Chloromethane, Chromium (total), cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Cyanide, Dibromomethane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Ethylbenzene, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Hexachlorobutadiene, Isopropylbenzene, m-Dichlorobenzene, Mercury (total inorganic), Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), n-Butylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Naphthalene, Nitrite, o-Chlorotoluene, o-Dichlorobenzene, p-Chlorotoluene, p-Dichlorobenzene, p-Isopropyltoluene, p-Xylene, sec-Butylbenzene, Selenium (total), Styrene, tert-Butylbenzene, Thallium (total), Toluene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Vinyl chloride, Xylenes (total)

Pollution Summary

16Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)

Nitrate, Dichlorodifluoromethane, MTBE, Perchlorate, Copper, Lead (total), Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromoform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Tetrachloroethylene, Benzene, Radium-226, Radium-228

2Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Nitrate, Perchlorate

6Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Nitrate, MTBE, Copper, Lead (total), Tetrachloroethylene, Benzene

9Industrial Pollutants

Nitrate, Dichlorodifluoromethane, MTBE, Perchlorate, Lead (total), Tetrachloroethylene, Benzene, Radium-226, Radium-228

6Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

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

5Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Nitrate, Copper, Lead (total), Radium-226, Radium-228

4Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Dichlorodifluoromethane, MTBE, Perchlorate, Lead (total)

EPA Violation Summary

Violation CategoryNumber of Violations
MCL and Treatment
(click see violations)
1
Monitoring
(click see violations)
1

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.