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City of Lowell > Public Works > Water Utility > 2012 Water Quality Report
2012 Water Quality Report

2012 Water Quality Data Table

Unless otherwise noted, this report is based upon rests conducted in the year 2012 by the Lowell Regional Water Utility's certified Laboratory Director, Treatment Plan Operators, and by certified water testing laboratories. 

Terms used in the Water-Quality Table and in other parts of this report are defined below:

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL)

The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.

Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG)

The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL)

The highest level of a disinfectant (chlorine) allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG)

The level of a drinking water disinfectant (chlorine) below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLG’s do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

Action Level (AL)

The concentration of a contaminant that, if exceeded, triggers a treatment or other requirement which a water system must follow.

Treatment Technique (TT)

A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
 

Key to table: One part per million is equal to:
ppm = parts per million, or milligrams per liter (mg/l)
ppb = parts per billion, or micrograms per liter (µg/l)
pCi/l = picocuries per liter (a measure of radioactivity)
~ One ounce in 82,000 pounds ~
MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level
MCLG = Maximum Contaminant Level Goal
~ One minute in two years ~
NTU = Nephelometric Turbidity Units
TT = Treatment Technique
~ One penny in $10,000.00 ~
AL = Action Level
N/A = not applicable
~ One inch in 16 miles ~
MRDL = Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level
MRDLG = Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal
MDL = Method Detection Limit
N/D = Non-Detectable
90th % = Out of 10 homes, 9 were at or below this level
 

Water Quality Data Table

 
Contaminant Detected Unit MCL MCLG Level Detected Range of Detection Major Sources Violation
Regulated Contaminants
Nitrate ppm 10 10 0.34 N/A Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion from natural deposits. NO
Flouride *(see below)


1.17 0.88 to 1.17 Water additive that promotes strong teeth. NO
* State (MCL) ppm 2 none

* EPA (MCL) ppm 4 none

Sodium ppm none none 34.3 N/A Erosion of natural deposits; road salt, and water treatment chemicals. NO
Chlorite ppm 1.0 0.8 0.50 0.21 to 0.50 By-product of drinking water disinfection. NO
Turbity (see note) NTU 1.0
TT=100% 0.17 0.06 to 0.17 Soil runoff. NO
TT= Lowest percentage of monthly samples <0.3 NTU
Note: Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of the water. We monitor it because it is a good indicator of the effectiveness of our filtration system.
Disinfectant residual
ppm
(MRDL) 4
(MRDLG) 4
.97
0.42 to .97
By-product of drinking water disinfection.
NO
Perchlorate ppb 2.0 none 0.33
N/A
Rocket propellants, fireworks, munitions, flares, blasting agents.  Aged water treatment disinfection chemicals
NO
Volatile Organic Contaminants
(TTHM) ppb 80 0 (50) 0.5 to 50.0 By-product of drinking water chlorination. NO
[Total Trihalomethanes] (Highest Runing Annual Average)
Disinfection By-Product Contaminants
(HAA) ppb 60 0 (20.7) 0 to 20.7 By-product of drinking water chlorination. NO
[Halo-acetic Acids] (Highest Runing Annual Average)
Unregulated Contaminants
MTBE ppb none none N/D N/D<0.05 Gasoline Additive. NO
Chloroform ppb none none 15.1 3.9 to 15.1 By-product of drinking water chlorination. NO
Bromodichloromethane ppb none none 7.3 2.2 to 7.3 By-product of drinking water chlorination. NO
Chlorodibromomethane ppb none none 2.5 N/D<0.6 to 2.5 By-product of drinking water chlorination. NO
Sulfate ppm none none 5.0 5.0 Mineral and nutrient NO

Unregulated contaminants are those for which EPA has not established drinking water standards. The purpose of un-regulated contaminant monitoring is to assist EPA in determining their occurrence in drinking water and whether future regulation is warranted.

 

Radionuclides
Gross Alpha pCi/l 15 0 0.5 (+-1.1) N/A Erosion of natural deposits NO
Radium 228 pCi/l 5 0 0.1 (+-0.6) N/A Erosion of natural deposits NO
Contaminant Unit MCL MCLG Level Detected Range of Detection Major Sources Violation
Lead ppb 15 0    .001 0 of 50 Corrosion of household plumbing systems. Erosion of natural deposits. NO
Copper ppm 1.3 1.3    0.04 0 of 50 Corrosion of household plumbing systems. Erosion of natural deposits; Leaching from wood preservatives. NO
 
Finished water pH ranged from 7.5 to 8.3