New Bedford, Massachusetts
Water Quality in New Bedford, Massachusetts
Watershed: Acushnet River – Frontal Buzzards Bay
What is the water quality like in New Bedford, MA?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in New Bedford water.
What’s in New Bedford 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
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 12 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
These 5 contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
See the What Can You Do? section below for all of the contaminants you can filter out and how to do it.
Where does New Bedford’s water come from?
New Bedford’s water comes from the Acushnet River – Frontal Buzzards Bay watershed.
All 10 EPA assessed water sources in the Acushnet River – Frontal Buzzards Bay watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Acushnet River – three segments Impaired
- Apponagansett Bay – Impaired
- Buttonwood Brook – Impaired
- Buttonwood Park Pond – Unknown
- Clarks Cove – Impaired
- New Bedford Inner Harbor – Impaired
- New Bedford Reservoir – Impaired
- Outer New Bedford Harbor – Impaired
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 these uses:
- Drinking Water
- Aquatic Life
- Fish and Shellfish Consumption
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve New Bedford’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality can be surprising.
But there’s no reason to lose hope. There are things you can do in your household as well as things you can do at a community level.
In Your Household:
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out 11 of the 12 contaminants in your drinking water.
- Berkey filters can also remove up to 99.99% of Lead in New Bedford water.
- Brita can filter 4 (and Lead depending on the filter).
- Note: We may receive a commission if you decide to purchase filters through links on this page.
- To filter out 9 of the 12 contaminants in your whole house, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your home.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- Barium – health risks in water
- Bromodichloromethane – health risks in drinking water
- Chloroform – side effects
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination
*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.
**Chlorate, a chemical that negatively affects the thyroid, cannot be filtered out. To get it out of your water supply along with Manganese and Vanadium, contact your local government officials using the information below.
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.newbedford-ma.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.