When you receive your first-quarter water bill, enclosed will be a brochure titled, “Important Information about Lead in Drinking Water.” I would like to explain what this brochure means.
The MWRA system has some of the highest quality water in the country and some of the most rigorous testing standards, and water in the City of Melrose is completely safe.
MWRA water is lead-free when it leaves the reservoirs. However, lead can get into tap water through home lead service lines (the pipes that connect homes to the water main in the street), lead solder used in plumbing, and some brass fixtures.
The MWRA and Melrose monitor our water quality vigorously. Melrose conducts weekly tests and follows up with testing for lead every six months. In our most recent round of tests, we found elevated levels in 3 out of 17 houses with lead service lines. The next tests are scheduled for mid-March.
Melrose maintains an aggressive lead service testing program to ensure the water being provided to residents, schools, and other facilities in our community is safe. Those programs are going to continue. In addition, the MWRA treats its water to make it less corrosive, which reduces the amount of lead that leaches out of the pipes.
To find out if you might have a lead service line and how it can be replaced, call the Engineering Department at 781-979-4172. If you do have a lead service, the Engineering Department will be able to provide further guidance.