Health Consultation Assessment of Drinking Water Quality And Cancer Incidence Scituate, ma

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3. Municipal Water Mains
In the past, individuals receiving water from VLAC pipes in Scituate may have been exposed to PCE at concentrations above state drinking water standards. This is particularly true for those residents receiving water from water mains located on Turner Road and Booth Hill Road. The primary way exposure may have occurred is through ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact with municipal water. Because these water mains were sampled sporadically, and because remedial measures may have been implemented before and/or after samples were collected from the pipes, the concentrations of PCE to which people were typically exposed may have varied and is uncertain.

Current and future exposures to PCE in drinking water from VLAC water mains are not likely because sampling conducted since 1980 has not detected PCE in most of these mains at concentrations above the MMCL. According to the Scituate Water Department, these water mains are flushed on an annual basis, using hydrants or bleeders (devices that allow water to be released from mains). This process releases stagnant water, in order to prevent elevated concentrations of PCE (Babbin 2000). In 1996, the Town of Scituate replaced four water mains (located on Kathy’s Path, Dreamwold Road, Gridley Bryant Road, and the Sanitary Landfill) containing VLAC piping material with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) piping, which does not leach PCE (Babbin 2000).

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