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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2021 UPDATE

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Northbrook Village I / Berlin Ret.

EWG's drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, as well as information from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History database (ECHO). For the latest quarter assessed by the U.S. EPA (January 2021 - March 2021), tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.

Utility Details

  • Berlin, Massachusetts
  • Serves: 48
  • Data available: 2014-2019
  • Source: Groundwater

Contaminants Detected

4

EXCEED
EWG HEALTH
GUIDELINES

9 Total Contaminants

  • Legal does not necessarily equal safe. Getting a passing grade from the federal government does not mean the water meets the latest health guidelines.
  • Legal limits for contaminants in tap water have not been updated in almost 20 years.
  • The best way to ensure clean tap water is to keep pollution out of source water in the first place.

Legal ≠ Safe

EWG Health Guidelines fill the gap in outdated government standards.

The federal government’s legal limits are not health-protective. The EPA has not set a new tap water standard in almost 20 years, and some standards are more than 40 years old.

Contaminants Detected

Nitrate

Potential Effect: cancer24x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY3.31 ppm
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.14 ppm
LEGAL LIMIT10 ppm
DETAILS
X

Nitrate, a fertilizer chemical, frequently contaminates drinking water due to agricultural and urban runoff, and discharges from municipal wastewater treatment plants and septic tanks. Excessive nitrate in water can cause oxygen deprivation in infants and increase the risk of cancer. Click here to read more about nitrate.

Nitrate was found at 24 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.14 ppm or less

This Utility

3.31 ppm

Legal Limit

10 ppm

National Average

0.935 ppm

State Average

0.545 ppm
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2017-2019.
ppm = parts per million

Health Risks

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.14 ppm for nitrate was defined by EWG . This health guideline protects against cancer and harm to fetal growth and development.

Pollution Sources

agriculture icon

Agriculture

urban area icon

Runoff & Sprawl

naturally occuring icon

Naturally Occurring

Filtering Options

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

ion exchange icon

Ion Exchange

Radium, combined (-226 & -228)

Potential Effect: cancer11x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY0.54 pCi/L
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.05 pCi/L
LEGAL LIMIT5 pCi/L
DETAILS
X

Radium, combined (-226 & -228)

more about
this contaminant

Radium is a radioactive element that causes bone cancer and other cancers. It can occur naturally in groundwater, and oil and gas extraction activities such as hydraulic fracturing can elevate concentrations.

Radium, combined (-226 & -228) was found at 11 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.05 pCi/L or less

This Utility

0.54 pCi/L

Legal Limit

5 pCi/L

National Average

0.46 pCi/L

State Average

0.66 pCi/L
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2014-2019.
pCi/L = picocuries per liter

Health Risks

EWG applied the health guideline of 0.05 pCi/L, defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal for radium-226, to radium-226 and radium-228 combined. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Pollution Sources

industry icon

Industry

naturally occuring icon

Naturally Occurring

Filtering Options

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

ion exchange icon

Ion Exchange

Radon

Potential Effect: cancer2,053x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY3,080.00 pCi/L
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE1.5 pCi/L
NO LEGAL LIMIT
DETAILS
X

Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from soil and groundwater, and causes lung cancer. Highest exposures come from radon entering a house through its basement or crawl spaces, or from it volatilizing in the water.

Radon was found at 2,053 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

1.5 pCi/L or less

This Utility

3,080 pCi/L

National Average

153.68 pCi/L

State Average

1,864.3 pCi/L
NO LEGAL LIMIT
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2014-2019.
pCi/L = picocuries per liter

Health Risks

The EWG Health Guideline of 1.5 pCi/L for radon was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Pollution Sources

naturally occuring icon

Naturally Occurring

Filtering Options

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Uranium

Potential Effect: cancer31x EWG'S HEALTH GUIDELINE
THIS UTILITY13.50 pCi/L
EWG HEALTH GUIDELINE0.43 pCi/L
LEGAL LIMIT20 pCi/L
DETAILS
X

Uranium is a known human carcinogen. The federal legal limit for uranium is set at 30 micrograms per liter (corresponding to parts per billion), but utilities can also report uranium in picocuries per liter (pCi/L), which is a measure of radioactivity in water. EWG translated all uranium results to pCi/L using a conversion factor developed by the EPA. With this conversion approach, the limit of 30 ppb corresponds to 20 pCi/L. Drinking water with this much uranium would cause more than 4.6 cancer cases in a population of 100,000. California set a public health goal for uranium of 0.43 pCi/L.

Uranium was found at 31 times above EWG's Health Guideline.

EWG Health Guideline

0.43 pCi/L or less

This Utility

13.5 pCi/L

Legal Limit

20 pCi/L

National Average

1.04 pCi/L

State Average

1.33 pCi/L
The state and national averages were calculated using the averages of the contaminant measurements for each utility in 2014-2019.
pCi/L = picocuries per liter

Health Risks

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.43 pCi/L for uranium was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. Three most common uranium isotopes are U-234, U-235 and U-238. All isotopes of uranium are radioactive, and the total radioactivity depends on the ratio of isotopes. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Pollution Sources

industry icon

Industry

naturally occuring icon

Naturally Occurring

Filtering Options

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

ion exchange icon

Ion Exchange

Includes chemicals detected in 2017-2019 for which annual utility averages exceeded an EWG-selected health guideline established by a federal or state public health authority; radiological contaminants detected between 2014 and 2019.


Other Contaminants Tested


Chemicals tested for but not detected from 2014 to 2019:

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-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP) , 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 , Acetone , Alachlor (Lasso) , Aldicarb , Aldicarb sulfone , Aldicarb sulfoxide , Aldrin , Antimony , Arsenic , Atrazine , Benzene , Benzo[a]pyrene , Beryllium , Bromobenzene , Bromochloromethane , Bromodichloromethane , Bromoform , Bromomethane , Butachlor , Cadmium , Carbaryl , Carbofuran , Carbon tetrachloride , Chlordane , Chloroethane , Chloroform , Chloromethane , Chromium (total) , cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene , Cyanide , Dalapon , Di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate , Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate , Dibromochloromethane , Dibromomethane , Dicamba , Dichlorodifluoromethane , Dichloromethane (methylene chloride) , Dieldrin , Dinoseb , Endrin , Ethyl tert-butyl ether , Ethylbenzene , Ethylene dibromide , Heptachlor , Heptachlor epoxide , Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) , Hexachlorobutadiene , Hexachlorocyclopentadiene , Isopropyl ether , Isopropylbenzene , Lindane , m-Dichlorobenzene , Mercury (inorganic) , Methomyl , Methoxychlor , Metolachlor , Metribuzin , Monochlorobenzene (chlorobenzene) , MTBE , n-Butylbenzene , n-Propylbenzene , Naphthalene , Nitrite , o-Chlorotoluene , o-Dichlorobenzene , Oxamyl (Vydate) , p-Chlorotoluene , p-Dichlorobenzene , p-Isopropyltoluene , Pentachlorophenol , Picloram , Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) , Propachlor , sec-Butylbenzene , Selenium , Silver , Simazine , Styrene , tert-Amyl methyl ether , tert-Butyl alcohol , tert-Butylbenzene , Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene) , Tetrahydrofuran , Thallium , Toluene , Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) , Toxaphene , trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene , Trichloroethylene , Trichlorofluoromethane , Vinyl chloride , Xylenes (total)

Northbrook Village I / Berlin Ret. compliance with legally mandated federal standards:

  • From April 2019 to March 2021, Northbrook Village I / Berlin Ret. complied with health-based drinking water standards.
  • 12 QUARTERS
    in violation of any federal drinking water standard from April 2019 to March 2021

Information in this section on Northbrook Village I / Berlin Ret. comes from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History Online database (ECHO).

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS UTILITY

Water Filters That Can Reduce Contaminant Levels

ContaminantActivated Carbonactivated carbonReverse Osmosisreverse osmosisIon Exchangeion exchange
CONTAMINANTS ABOVE
HEALTH GUIDELINES
Nitrate
Radium, combined (-226 & -228)
Radon
Uranium, combined (pCi/L)
OTHER CONTAMINANTS
DETECTED
Aluminum
Barium
Fluoride
Manganese
Perchlorate

Take Action

Contact Your Local Official

One of the best ways to push for cleaner water is to hold accountable the elected officials who have a say in water quality – from city hall and the state legislature to Congress all the way to the Oval Office – by asking questions and demanding answers.

LEARN MORE

Filter Out Contaminants

Check out our recommendations for filters to protect your water against the detected contaminants.

EWG’S WATER FILTER GUIDE