The Hopkinton Water Department recently published the excellent Annual Water Quality Report (available at bit.ly/HopWater2021) for the year 2021. Substances such as asbestos, nitrate, tetrachloroethylene, PFAS6 and others are reported as detected and their effect on our water quality is noted. (The Water Department is currently working to filter PFAS from Well 6.) This yearly report is of municipal water supply, of course; homeowners’ well water is not (and cannot be) included.
Nearly one-third of Hopkinton residences rely on their own wells for their water for washing the car, for watering the lawn and for drinking and cooking purposes. We, supplying our own water, ought to have an interest in the quality of that water. When our houses were built, water quality reports were required by our local Health Department and are called for again when/if we sell our houses, meaning that for a decade or two homeowners may be unaware of the quality of their water. Some are diligent enough to test their well water occasionally or even frequently. The rest of us should consider it at least as important as an annual inspection of our cars’ horns and brakes.
Test kits for water quality are available for us to do our own tests, but few of us are equipped or instructed on how a test must be handled and processed, including the need for clean containers and sterilized spigots. There are licensed laboratories for the purpose.
The use, preservation and possible re-use of natural resources is a subject that gets a lot of attention these days. How we use water, one of the three or four absolute necessities for life, whereby we draw the water from the ground through a well, use it casually then return it to the ground through a septic system separated a hundred feet or so from the well, is an example of ancient, practical and low-cost efficiency. The process relies upon the earth to cleanse our water; the process deserves our attention.
— Robert W. Foster, Hopkinton
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