MASS.-- 3 Cities Praised for Drinking Water Reports : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

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3 cities in WMass praised for drinking water reports

Wednesday, March 15, 2000 By STAN FREEMAN

Western Massachusetts communities generally received good grades from environmental groups for the drinking water reports they sent to residents late last year.

The reports, required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, provided information to residents about what chemicals and contaminants may be in their drinking water and what the source of the water is.

The Campaign for Safe and Affordable Drinking Water, a coalition that includes the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group and the Clean Water Fund, surveyed 430 drinking water reports from water utilities nationwide that serve more than 40 million people. The group gave 44 percent of the reports D's or F's.

The coalition graded 18 community reports for communities in Massachusetts, awarding D's or F's to seven of them, a 39 percent rate.

However, in Western Massachusetts, Westfield received an A for its report, Springfield and Easthampton got B's for theirs and Northampton's report got a C. They were the only Connecticut Valley communities whose reports were rated.

Chris Bathurst of the Clean Water Fund said Springfield, Westfield and Easthampton water officials "should feel good about what they did."

He called the Springfield report "very readable."

"It had maps and narration, which we feel is very important," he said.

Bathurst said the Northampton report received a lower mark "because the language regarding lead was confusing, and they didn't have required information about maximum contaminant levels."

The 1996 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act requires most water utilities to produce the reports annually.

-- (, March 15, 2000

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