What is the Water Quality in Malden, Massachusetts?
Compared to other US cities, Malden water quality ranks in the middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 22 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Chloroform is at extremely high levels: 24x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 106x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 268x health guidelines.
- HAA5 and HAA9 are byproducts of chlorine treatment, a common method of disinfecting water supplies. They can be removed with activated carbon filters. See below for recommendations.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Malden water.
What’s in Malden water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5 and HAA9) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 22 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
9 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Malden have Lead contamination?
Yes, Malden has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected in 2018 showed concentrations up to 12.2 parts per billion (ppb).
The legal limit for lead is 15 parts per billion. Being well-below this level is a good thing.
- Concentrations between 3.8 ppb and 15 ppb put a formula-fed baby at risk of elevated blood lead levels. Read more about the symptoms of Lead in water.
There is no safe level of lead for humans.
- The good news is that 99.99% of the lead can be filtered out.
See the What Can You Do? section below to learn how to filter out contaminants.
Where does Malden’s water come from?
Malden’s water comes from the Mystic River – Frontal Boston Harbor watershed.
All 20 assessed water sources in the Mystic River – Frontal Boston Harbor watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Alewife Brook
- Blacks Nook
- Boston Inner Harbor
- Clay Pit Pond
- Ell Pond
- Fellsmere Pond
- Hills Pond
- Little Pond
- Lower Mystic Lake
- Malden River
- Mill Brook
- Mystic River – Multiple sections
- Spy Pond
- Upper Mystic Lake
- Winn Brook
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition.
Whether a water source is in Impaired or Good condition refers to the quality of three uses:
- Aquatic Life
- Fish and Shellfish Consumption
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Malden’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Malden can be surprising.
But there’s no reason to lose hope. There are things you can do in your home as well as things you can do at a community level.
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out at least 83% of contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 20 of the 22 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis Pentair water filtration system for your house.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but are much more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
*Chlorination is an effective method of disinfecting/treating drinking water. You can then use a water filter to reduce the effects of chlorination byproducts to get the safest, cleanest water possible.
In Your Community:
Contact your local government officials and put pressure on them to invest in cleaner waterways and upgraded city water filtration and treatment.
Go to: http://www.cityofmalden.org/ to find contact information for your local officials.