Yarmouth Water

99 Buck Island Road West Yarmouth, Massachusetts 02673

Annual Drinking Water Quality Report

We Want You to Know About Your Drinking Water

If you have questions about this report call Richard Crowley Superintendent at 771-7921

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was signed into law on December 16, 1974.

The purpose of the law is to assure that the nation's water supply systems serving the public meet minimum national standards for the protection of public health.

As amended and re-authorized by the 1996 U.S. Congress the SDWA requires that all public water systems with piped water for human consumption with at least 15 service connections or a system that regularly serves at least 25 individuals, must provide such consumers with an "Annual Drinking Water Quality Report".

The SDWA directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish national drinking water standards. These standards limit the amount of certain contaminants provided by public water.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water. All drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants.

The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).


        Your Water is Safe to Drink                

Yarmouth Water Department is committed to providing Yarmouth residents and visitors with high quality drinking water 24 hours a day 365 days a year. To ensure we deliver this quality product Yarmouth Water has made significant investments in water treatment facilities, water quality monitoring, water source protection, and distribution systems. We are pleased to be reporting the results of our 1998 water testing directly to you the consumer.


Your Drinking Water Source

Within the town of Yarmouth there are 24 groundwater wells that draw water from 2 aquifers or lens. The Sagamore Lens which supplies most of the water for Yarmouth, and the Monomoy Lens which supplies the remainder to a lesser extent. Your tap water may come from either of these sources depending upon where you live and the time of year.


Protecting Source Waters

Even though Yarmouth Water uses basic treatment techniques along with some of the most advanced equipment available, it is still necessary to start with the highest quality water sources. That is why Yarmouth Water owns and protects over 963 acres of land surrounding well fields and aquifer recharge areas. We also inspect these areas each year for any condition that could adversely affect the quality of the water. In addition our staff reviews and comments on local land development plans near our well fields that could impact water quality. A complete list of all the contaminants tested for is available at our offices, located at 99 Buck Island Road West Yarmouth, 8:30 am – 4:30pm.


Water Quality Testing

Each year the Yarmouth Water Department conducts more than 1,000 water quality tests on samples taken throughout the Town of Yarmouth. These tests confirm that your tap water meets all state and federal drinking water quality standards, and that your water is safe to drink. Beginning with this report we will be mailing you a report each year with information about the quality of your drinking water.

In addition to water quality test results, this report will provide information about the water system such as:

  • Where your water comes from
  • Vulnerable Population information
  • Definitions You Need to Know
  • Associations we use to help us safe guard your water
  • Other issues that effect the water you drink


Water Quality Summary

The table below shows only the substances that were detected in the Yarmouth Water in 1998. Not all substances were detected in each of the 24 well fields and none of the samples collected at the 24 well fields exceeded the highest level (MCL) allowed for any one substance.

Regulated Contaminants

The "Level Found" column represents an average of sample result data collected during the Water Quality Parameters (WQP) calendar year beginning January 1st, 1998 through December 31st, 1998. The "Range of Detection" column represents a range of individual sample results, from the lowest to the highest that were detected during the WQP calendar year. If a date appears in the "Date of Sample" column, the State of Massachusetts DEP requires monitoring for this contamination less than once a year because the concentrations found previously do not frequently change. If no date appears in the column, monitoring for that contaminant was conducted during the annual WQP calendar year.

Microbial Contaminates

Yarmouth Results    see Definitions You Need to Know
Contaminant MCLG MCL Level Found Range of Detection Violation Date of Sample Typical Source of Contaminant
Total Coliform Bacteria (% pos/mon) 0 >=5% 0.009 0-1 None - Naturally present in the environment.
Fecal Coliform bacteria and e. Coli 0 >=5% 0 0 None - Human and animal fecal waste.

Inorganic Contaminates

Copper  (ppm) 1.3 AL=1.3 0.0296 <0.02-.15 None - Corrosion or electrical grounding problems of household plumbing systems. Erosion of natural deposits. Leaching from wood preservatives..
Lead (ppm) * 0 AL=0.015 0.021** <0.001-0.084 None 6*** Corrosion of natural / industrial deposits; plumbing soldier, less expensive brass alloy faucets, electrical grounding problems of household plumbing systems
Nitrate (ppm) 10 10 1.70 .15 - 4.68 None - Runoff from fertilizer use. Leaching from septic systems, sewage, and erosion of natural deposits.
Nitrite (ppm) 1 1 0.0092 0.0 - .01 None - Runoff from fertilizer use. Leaching from septic systems, sewage, and erosion of natural deposits.
Sodium (ppm) N/A N/A 16.5 12.2 - 21.8 Unregulated contaminant - Sodium can occur naturally and can be attributed to road runoff.

Organic Contaminants

Chloroform (ppm) N/A N/A 2.3625 0.7 - 6.0 Unregulated contaminant - Occurs naturally here on Cape Cod. Future studies by DEP are planned to determine why.
Cis-1,2 Dichloroethylene 70 70 0.7 0.0 - 0.7 None - Refrigerant
Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (ppb) N/A N/A 0.117 0.0-2.0 Unregulated contaminant - Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether is an ether compound used in gasoline to help gasoline engines produce less harmful emissions.

Radioactive contaminants

Alpha emitters (p/Ci/l) 0 15pCi/l 1.0+-(1.6) 1.0+-(1.6) None 7-17-95 Erosion of natural deposits.

* Lead sampling was from consumers systems which may be effected by plumbing solder, less expensive brass alloy faucets and or electrical grounding problems. ** 90th percentile action level. *** Number of sites above action level. This report was prepared by Dan Mills Assistant Superintendent of Yarmouth Water. For more information, call the Yarmouth Water at 508-771-7921 or email dmills@yarmouthwater.org.

The Substances Found in Your Tap Water

Drinking water, including bottled water, may be reasonably expected to contain at least some small amounts of certain substances that the EPA calls "contaminants". The presence of these substances does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. For example, naturally occurring dissolved minerals are commonly found in well water. More information about substances found in your tap water and their potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791)

Vulnerable Population

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice from their health care providers.


Unregulated Contaminants

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

Definitions You Need to Know

Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations and wildlife.


Total Coliform Bacteria, Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other, potentially-harmful, bacteria may be present.


Fecal Coliform and e. Coli, Fecal coliforms and e. Coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal waste. Microbes in these wastes can cause short-term effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, and people with severely-compromised immune systems.


Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally - occurring or resulting from urban storm-water runoff, industrial or domestic waste water discharges, oil and gas production, mining or farming.


Organic Chemical contaminants, include synthetic and volatile organic chemicals that are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems.


Radioactive contaminants, can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production, and mining activities.


pCi/l, picocuries per liter. A measure of radioactivity.


MCL, The "Maximum contaminant level" is 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.


MCLG, "The Maximum contaminant level goal" is 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.


ppm, "Parts per Million" which is also the same as saying Milligrams per liter (mg/l). One part per million corresponds to a single penny in $10,000.00 or one minute in a two year period.


ppb, "Parts per Billion" which is also the same as saying Micrograms per liter. One part per billion corresponds to a single penny in $10,000,000.00 or one minute in a 2,000 year period.


AL, Action level, the concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.


Variances and Exceptions

Yarmouth Water was granted a renewal of waivers December 18,1998 by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Water Supply Office, not requiring our system to monitor for synthetic organic compounds (SOC’s). Previous years of testing have indicated that these substances do not occur in our source water. Yarmouth Water however does test for these contaminants for our historical database and will continue sampling annually. A complete list of all the contaminants tested for, is available at our offices, located at 99 Buck Island Road W. Yarmouth, 8:30 am – 4:30pm. 771-7921


Water Related Informational Sites

Visit these web sites at your public library or from your home for more information on all aspects of water. American Water Works Association – www.awwa.org - an international nonprofit scientific and educational society dedicated to the improvement of drinking water quality and supply. Water Environment Federation - www.wef.org - a not-for profit technical and educational organization. Its goal is to preserve and enhance the global water environment. Yarmouth Water – www.yarmouthwater.org - your local water provider with links to other water related sites and updated information on our department activities.

Yarmouth Water is proud to be a member of the following Associations. American Water Works Association (AWWA), Massachusetts Water Works Association (MWWA), New England Water Works Association (NEWWA), Plymouth County Water Works Association (PCWWA), and the Barnstable County Water Utilities Association (BCWWA), North East Rural Water Association (NERWA), Barnstable County Public Works Association (BCPWA), Association "Citizens Against Drugs, Casinos and Illegal Movies" (CADCIM) & more useful services...


Landlords please forward our web site URL www.yarmouthwater.org/CCR1998 to your Tenants, or advise them that the report can be obtained at

Town Hall, Local Libraries or the Yarmouth Water Department