Hexavalent Chromium

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Shrewsbury’s Drinking water has the highest Hexavalent Chromium levels in the State of Massachusetts.  The other two towns had unique scenarios.  Harwich had a problem with chromium coming from the stainless steel piping in their new water plant which caused their high levels and Danvers only had one well test high so the overall finished water (after the water is combined from all wells) was below Shrewsbury.    Therefore, Shrewsbury is really at the top of the list and involves what is believed to be at this point a problem related to the contamination of our drinking water from industrial pollution.

When chromium-6 is found in New England it is usually from industrial-type discharges. A preliminary analysis indicates that the source of the chemical in the two Shrewsbury wells is a defunct metal-plating company (Garaby Platers) that operated at 722 Plantation St. in Worcester beginning in the 1930s. Data from the DEP from 2006 showed levels of the chemical in groundwater on that property ranged up to 16 ppb.

Environmental Working Group’s Chromium-6 Map

  1. Harwich (Average: 1.1 ppb, Range: 0.0-20.0 ppb)
  2. Danvers (Average: 0.52 ppb, Range: 0.0-4.4 ppb)
  3. Shrewsbury (Average: 3.8 ppb, Range: 3.4-4.1 ppb)

Shrewsbury Water Department
Chromium-6 testing from 2013-2015

Chromium-6 Testing Summary
California’s Public Health Goal for chromium-6 is 0.02 parts per billion (ppb)

Samples: 4
Detects: 4
Average : 3.8 ppb
Range: 3.4-4.1 ppb

Chromium-6 Tests

Sample Date Sample Facility Sample Point Result
2015-01-14 Distribution System Max. Res. Time in Dist. System 3.4 ppb
2015-01-14 Home Farm WTP EPTDS from Home Farm WTP 3.7 ppb
2015-08-11 Home Farm WTP EPTDS from Home Farm WTP 4.1 ppb
2015-08-11 Distribution System Max. Res. Time in Dist. System 4.0 ppb

SHREWSBURY’S HEX CHROME VIDEO CHRONICLES

 


SHREWSBURY’S HEX CHROME NEWS

03/08/19 – Shrewsbury Water Dept Memo – Hexavalent Chromium Mitigation Efforts

07/13/17 – Construction starts on Shrewsbury water treatment plant

01/11/17 –  Toxin delays bids for water plant in Shrewsbury

SHREWSBURY – Selectmen have delayed putting the new $14 million water treatment plant out to bid until the town determines the source of hexavalent chromium-6, a carcinogen, and how to get rid of it.

The town had planned to put the project out to bid in February. But that will be delayed for at least a month.

“It’s on hold temporarily until we find out exactly what the source of the chromium-6. And, we want to get some more information on what our treatment options are,” Water and Sewer Superintendent Robert Tozeski told selectmen Tuesday night.

Unexpected levels of chromium-6 were first detected in the town’s nine wells a few months ago after a report from the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit watchdog group.

11/16/17 – Shrewsbury looks to reduce carcinogen levels in wells

SHREWSBURY – Troubled by dirty tap water issues the past several months, the town now is faced with addressing the problem of low levels of a carcinogen found in water in its wells before putting a $14.9 million water treatment plant out to bid.

Unexpected levels of hexavalent chromium, known as chromium-6, were detected in two of the town’s nine wells after a recent report from the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit watchdog group.

Robert Tozeski, told the Board of Selectmen Tuesday night that Shrewsbury has very low levels of the chemical, but according to the report, the town had the third highest level in the state.

When chromium-6 is found in New England it is usually from industrial-type discharges. Mr. Tozeski said a preliminary analysis indicates that the source of the chemical in the two Shrewsbury wells is a defunct metal-plating company that operated at 722 Plantation St. in Worcester beginning in the 1930s. He said data from 2006 showed levels of the chemical in groundwater on the property ranged up to 16 ppb.

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