Drinking water for the City of Everett is some of the highest quality drinking water in the nation. Many years ago the Commonwealth of Massachusetts annexed three towns in central Massachusetts and created the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs. Today our drinking water travels nearly 100 miles through an underground system to your tap. The MWRA and the Everett Department of Public Works perform thousands of tests each year to ensure Everett’s water is safe and of the highest quality.
However, lead in drinking water continues to be a concern. The MWRA has been below the lead action level system-wide for many years now, but there are still many lead service lines within MWRA member communities, including in Everett. Service lines are the pipes that connect the water main in the street with the pipes in a home. Lead was widely used in service lines until 1944, and lead is common in many of the older cities and towns in Massachusetts. Homeowners and the cities have replaced many lead service lines, but some remain. Over time, lead from pipes can leach into drinking water.
The MWRA has developed a $100-million, zero-interest loan program to help communities remove these lead service lines, and Everett has implemented Phase 1 of a Lead Services Replacement Project. The Water Department focused on the neighborhoods west of Main Street and north of Waters Avenue, replacing service lines at approximately 150 properties with known or suspected lead water services.
Per Everett Water Department Rules and Regulations, service lines on private property are the responsibility of the property owner and not the responsibility of the City. However, to resolve potential health concerns, the City of Everett continues to fund the entire cost to replace the affected water service lines, the typical cost of which is $5,000 to $7,000 per service.
Preliminary design of Phase 2 is already underway, with Tata & Howard, Inc. providing engineering services to the City as was the case during Phase 1. Construction of Phase 2 is anticipated to take place in 2020. The City is making a proactive effort to aid the community at large through a systematic, area-by-area approach to replacing suspected lead service lines.
For more information or to request an inspection please call the Everett Lead Service Replacement Hotline at 508-251-5919 or emailing [email protected].