Cambridge Changing Water Source Due To High 'Forever Chemical' Levels

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Cambridge is changing its water source for the remainder of the year because of high levels of so-called "forever chemicals" in the city's water.

The city is switching its water source from Stony Brook Watershed to the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority starting on Tuesday, Aug. 30 after testing revealed increased levels of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, also known as forever chemicals, in the water. The switch is also due to supply chain delays for the city's new replacement filter that will help remove the chemicals from the water.

“Initial results for August showed PFAS levels trending upwards and September results are generally highest and so out of an abundance of caution, the Cambridge Water Department will be temporarily switching to MWRA water to eliminate potential health effects from PFAS levels above the MassDEP regulatory standard,” said Sam Corda, Managing Director of the Cambridge Water Department said in a statement.

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PFAS are human-made chemicals found in things like cookware, food packaging, and firefighting foams that do not break down easily and have been linked to serious health effects for pregnant and nursing women, infants, and immunocompromised people. The EPA announced on Friday, Aug. 26 it plans to designate these forever chemicals as hazardous substances.

The City of Cambridge said it expects its new replacement filter used to treat drinking water at the Walter J. Sullivan Water Treatment Facility to be fully installed by the end of November. The temporary switch to using MWRA water is expected to cost around $2 million per month.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports.

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