General Water Facts

WATER / OUR MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE

  • Water covers 3/4 of our planet and is the most abundant substance on earth. There are about 359 Billion gallosn stored in our oceans, frozen in glaciers, and captured in underground rock formations.
  • Water makes up 2/3 of our bodies, and its the main substance found in all living tings. Without water life wouldn't be able to exist today.
  • It cost money to treat, process and deliver water to your home.
  • One of the most important jobs for all of us is to protect our water supplies. Although water is the most common substance on earth - there is a catch, most of it is salt water. There is still a lot of water for us to use, but not so much that we can afford to waste it.
  • Water is often polluted or threatened with pollution. Providing water that's clean and safe is a big challenge.

WHERE DOES OUR WATER COME FROM?

  • The water hydrologic cycle is natures system for moving water through our environment.
  • The sun heats the earth's land and water surfaces and the water cycle begins.
  • Water evaporates from oceans, lakes, forests and fields, animals and plants.
  • The evaporated moisture is carried into the atmosphere and falls back to earth as rain and snow.
  • The water runs into our rivers, lakes and oceans. It is absorbed by the soil, or it seeps into underground formations called aquafers.
  • The water cycle never ends.
  • People in North America are lucky to have large supplies of water. We depend on water from 2 sources: surface water~ - lakes, streams, rivers, ponds, dams and reservoirs (or) ground water - water found in underground formation.

HOW DOES WATER GET TO OUR HOMES?

  • Water is collected from surface sources that are replenished by rainfall.
  • Treatment facilities make our water safe to drink.
  • Water is pumped to your home through underground pipes.
  • The result is water at the turn of a faucet whenever it is needed.

DOES POLLUTION THREATEN OUR WATER SUPPLIES?

  • Today water supplies can be threatened by many toxic chemicals. These chemicals can be a health risk even in very small amounts.
  • Even groundwater can be contaminated by poisonous chemicals. Because groundwater moves slowly, it can remain polluted for hundreds of years.
  • Some types of pollutants that can enter our supplies are bacteria, organic chemicals, toxic metals, phosphorous, radioactivity and other inorganic chemicals.

HOW HARD IS NORTH ANDOVER'S WATER?

North Andover's water is very soft as we fall in the 20-30 ppm range, which is 1.2-1.8 grains per gallon..

Hardness in Parts Per Million:

  • Less than 61, Soft (3.6 grains per gallon)
  • 61 to 120, Moderately Hard (3.6 to 7.0 grains per gallon)
  • 121 to 180, Hard (7.1 to 10.5 grains per gallon)
  • More than 181, Very Hard

WHAT IS METHYL TERTIARY-BUTYL ETHER?

Methyl tertiary-Butyl Ether, is used as an oxygenate additive to gasoline. It was first used in the late 1970’s as a replacement for lead to boost octane and more recently to promote complete burning and reduce emissions of carbon monoxide and organic combustion products. MtBE is a concern to drinking water suppliers because of its potential risk to human health, and tendency to migrate rapidly in groundwater, and its resistance to conventional water treatment processes. The primary sources of MtBE in urban water supplies are releases from gasoline powered recreational watercraft and atmospheric deposition through precipitation of industrial or vehicular emissions. MtBE has yet to be found in our source of drinking water but with the recent passing of the ban on the use of gasoline engines on the lake our chances for contamination have been greatly reduced.

WHAT ABOUT MERCURY?

Mercury is a naturally occurring metal that moves between the water, air and soil as a result of natural and human activities. It enters the environment from sources such as coal-fired power plants, mining and smelting of various ores, and the improper disposal of consumer products manufactured with it. In its organic form, methylmercury accumulates in sediment and fish. It becomes more concentrated as it moves up the food chain to humans and other animals that eat the fish. Even though mercury was found in certain types of fish in Lake Cochichewick it was not found in our treated drinking water.