What is the Water Quality in Medford, Massachusetts?
Compared to other US cities, Medford water quality ranks in the middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 21 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Chloroform is at extremely high levels: 24x health guidelines.
- Radium is at very high levels: 18x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Medford water.
What’s in Medford 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) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 21 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
9 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Medford have Lead contamination?
Yes, Medford has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected in 2019 showed concentrations up to 40.4 parts per billion (ppb). This is extremely high.
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 Medford’s water come from?
Medford’s water comes from the Mystic River – Frontal Boston Harbor watershed.
All 20 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
- Munroe Brook
- Mystic River
- Spy Pond
- Upper Mystic Lake
- Winn Brook
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition.
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Medford’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Medford 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 82% of contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 19 of the 21 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis Pentair water filtration system for your house.
- These are typically more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but are much more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- Chromium (hexavalent)
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9)
- Total trihalomethanes
- Trichloroacetic acid
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: https://www.medfordma.org/ to find contact information for your local officials.