Town Manager Norman Khumalo and Director of Public Works Kerry Reed announced Thursday morning that construction for Hopkinton’s Well 6 PFAS filtration system has begun.
Bay State Regional Contractors Inc. began digging a foundation at Hopkinton’s Fruit Street Well 6 to begin the process of building the filtration system in order to remove PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination from the public water supply. PFAS are a group of several thousand chemical compounds known as “forever chemicals” because they do not biodegrade. While commonly used in manufacturing, some PFAS are toxic and can affect sensitive groups including pregnant women, nursing mothers and infants.
PFAS were developed as coatings to protect consumer goods from stains, water and corrosion. Nonstick cookware, carpets, outdoor gear and food packaging are among items that contain the chemicals. They also are an ingredient in firefighting foams.
The project is expected to be completed in the winter of 2024. Once completed, the filtration system will use granulated activated carbon and ion exchange filters to remove PFAS contamination.
This new treatment system is designed to treat PFAS levels below current detection levels. This level of treatment will meet the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection safe drinking water standards for both the current and future maximum contaminant levels for PFAS6.
Earlier this year, tests placed Hopkinton among the thousands of communities in all 50 states that are affected by PFAS levels that have raised concern nationwide. The town has tested its water supply sources monthly since July 2021. That testing confirmed that the Fruit Street Well 6 is contaminated with elevated levels of PFAS above the action level of 20 parts per trillion (PPT).
In early 2023, the Town of Hopkinton received the necessary permits from the DEP and received bids to implement the filtration system. In May, using $1,187,000 of American Rescue Plan Act grant funds on the $1.7 million water filtration system was discussed at a 90-minute public forum.
“The Town of Hopkinton is committed to addressing all infrastructure needs within the community and ensuring the well-being of our residents,” Khumalo said in a statement. “Removing PFAS from our public water supply is an extremely important matter and we are working diligently to ensure the timely completion of this much-needed project. We appreciate all community members who have reached out with concerns and look forward to the positive impact it will have on our community.”
To learn more about Hopkinton’s Well 6 PFAS filtration system project, click here.