Elevated levels of lead found in Hatfield drinking water


Published: 11/30/2018 9:41:35 AM


Staff Writer

HATFIELD – Elevated levels of lead were found in Hatfield drinking water earlier this year, but officials believe it was a testing error as re-testing completed a few weeks later showed levels below levels of concern. Now, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is requiring that Hatfield test its water more often. 

The initial test of 10 homes, taken in mid-September, showed two residences with lead levels above the federal lead action limit of 15 parts per billion – one was slightly elevated and the other was much higher than the action level, according to the test results reported to the state DEP. 

The two homes were tested again two weeks later, and according to laboratory results, lead levels were well below the legal limit.

Hatfield water customers were notified with brochure of information sent in mid-November.         

“We’ve never had a problem before with the numbers that we’ve received. We think it was just bad sampling,” said Hatfield Water Superintendent Anthony Lastowski. 

Hatfield’s water system has never exceeded the action level before in the past and variation for test results from the same location is not uncommon, according to state DEP’s Western Regional Office. 

The 10 homes tested were identified to be those more likely to have lead in their water because of older plumbing.         

Every three years, Hatfield tested the water for cooper and lead and reported results to the state DEP. Going forward, the department will now have to test its water twice a year because of the recent tests that found elevated lead levels in the water. 

 Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@gazettenet.com

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