By Jordyn Jagolinzer, WBZ-TV
EASTON – Residents across the state are becoming concerned about their water supply after several boil water notices in Massachusetts communities.
E. coli has been found in the water of five different Massachusetts towns this month alone, including Wilmington, Mansfield and North Attleboro.
Sydney Evans is a science analyst with the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG).
"They are going to see contaminants. That's just the reality of drinking water in the United States," said Evans.
EWG provides a tap water database across the country. Evans explained the most common issue the organization sees in Massachusetts.
"Things that are really common in the state are disinfection by products," Evans said. "Those are contaminants that end up in water because of disinfection, which is necessary. We don't want pathogens. That's why you end up with boil water notices."
She also said water home test kits don't provide the bigger picture of what the actual problem is in unsafe drinking water.
"It's not necessarily monitored for in every system, so it's hard to know whether there's something like PFAS in your water," Evans said.
Richard Tierney is the operations manager of Easton's water division. He said he understands the worries coming from the community, which is near several towns that have had boil water orders.
"Of course, this is alarming and concerning to our residents," Tierney said.
Easton is construction three new buildings to better treat the town's water supply after finding polyfluoroalkyl, known as PFAS in 2019.
"We're doing what we can to get ahead of this contaminant in our supply," Tierney said.
In the meantime, residents are using a free filtered water dispenser outside the water division to hydrate.
"I only had three empty gallons but usually I bring eight," one resident said.
Evans recommends residents look at the exact contaminants in your city or town's water supply.
"Start with the information that's already available and then seek out a test if it's in your budget," Evans said.
She also said the EWG database can direct users to the exact filter they need based on the contaminant.
"We want people to feel like they can do something about their situation," she said.
In Easton they expect the new treatment facilities to be completed by summer of 2023.
for more features.