Town of Rutland
2013 Drinking Water Quality Report
Public Water Supply # 2257000
Our goal is to provide our customers with high quality drinking water that meets all state and federal standards for quality and safety. We have made significant investments in treatment facilities, water quality monitoring, and the distribution system.
Rutland’s Water System - Rutland’s water is supplied from Muschopauge Pond. In this age of security concerns for all public water supplies, some subtle changes have taken place to help protect the supply being Rutland’s only source of water.
Source Water Assessment and Protection – The (SWAP) Program assesses the susceptibility of public water supplies. A rating of “high” was assigned to the Town of Rutland by the Massachusetts DEP using the information collected during the assessment. The “high” rating was based on the potential for various land uses in the watershed to become sources of contamination if improperly managed. These land uses include farms, residences with septic systems, underground and above ground storage tanks, roads, household hazardous materials and wildlife within the watershed. The complete SWAP Report is available at the Rutland Department of Public Works, 17 Pommogussett Road or by calling (508) 886-4105 or MassDEP website at www.mass.gov/dep/water/drinking.htm.
Any Questions? - If you have any questions or you want to know more about the water system, please call Gary Kellaher, Superintendent of Public Works, at (508) 886-4105 with comments, concerns, and/or questions. We are located at the DPW Facility,17 Pommogussett Road, Rutland, Massachusetts.
We encourage all residents to attend and participate in the Board of Selectmen’s meeting every other Monday at 6:00 p.m. in the Community Hall Annex.
Action Level (AL) – The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow
Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) – The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCL’s are set as close to the MCLG’s 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. MCLG’s allow for a margin of safety.
Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) – The highest level of a disinfectant (chlorine, chloramines, chlorine dioxide) 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, chloramines, chlorine dioxide) 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.
Treatment Technique (TT) – A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
Variances and Exemptions – State or EPA permission not to meet an MCL or a treatment technique under certain conditions.
Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (SMCL) – These standards are developed to protect the aesthetic qualities of drinking water and are not health based.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) – The State Agency responsible for setting and enforcing drinking water regulations in Massachusetts.
United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) – The Federal Agency responsible for setting and enforcing drinking water regulation
ppm – parts per million.
ppb – parts per billion.
pCi/L – picocuries per liter (a measure of radioactivity)
NTU – Nephelometric Turbidity Units
Protecting the source of water is not enough to assure that your tap water is safe to drink. Both natural and manmade contaminants can still enter even the most well protected water supply. Water treatment is necessary as a barrier of protection. All of Rutland’s drinking water is treated at the Muschopauge Pond Water Filtration Plant. The Plant which began operation in 1997 produces water that fully complies with Federal and State Drinking Water Standards. During 2013, 121,386,000 gallons of water were treated at the filtration plant using the following processes.
Pre-Treatment – to disinfect and break down organic matter which helps control iron and manganese.
Coagulation and Flocculation – to make tiny particles in the water stick together to form larger particles, which can then be trapped in the filters.
Upflow Clarifiers and Gravity Filtration – removes particles from the water using plastic media in the clarifiers, and coal and sand in the filters.
pH Adjustment – to make the water less acidic and less corrosive.
Disinfection – to kill bacteria and other micro-organisms.
Fluoridation – to help prevent tooth decay.
Corrosion Control – to make the water less corrosive so that lead and copper found in household, and iron found in water mains does not dissolve into the water.
Substances Found in Tap Water
Sources of drinking water (both tap and bottled water) include rivers, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals, and in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.
2013 Water Quality Testing Results
Contaminants that may be present in source water include:
Microbiological Contaminants – such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.
Total Coliform Bacteria are a group of bacteria that serve as indicators of potential water quality problems. Total coliform bacteria are naturally present in soil, surface waters, and vegetation. They are not harmful by themselves, but when detected may indicate that conditions are right for the presence of more harmful microorganisms. Certain types of coliform bacteria can survive in the water distribution system despite the presence of chlorine.
Fecal Coliform are a group of bacteria that thrive at warmer temperatures as those found in the gut tract of humans and warm-blooded animals. Whenever a total coliform is detected in a water sample, that same sample must be tested for fecal coliform.
During 2013, ninety-two water samples were taken at DEP approved sites in the distribution system. Two samples tested positive for coliform bacteria. Two repeat samples were taken with a zero result. No other action was needed. A total of twelve samples of raw untreated water from Muschopauge Pond were tested. Eleven samples tested positive for coliform bacteria, five tested positive for fecal coliform. Because two of the samples for the month of October tested positive, we were in violation, though two repeat samples taken had a zero result.