It's the first day of spring in Massachusetts and with that comes less cold and more outdoor adventures!

Streams appear so clean and precious, don't they? I'm pretty sure most of them are since they feed some of Massachusetts' water supply.

Drinking Water In Massachusetts

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In some communities, drinking water comes from a reservoir that is fed by rivers and streams. In others, it comes from wells that pump groundwater from aquifers. There also are some people whose water comes from private wells.

Massachusetts Is Top Notch When It Comes To Clean Water


The public water supplies in Massachusetts are among the best in the country, and they are subject to the most stringent government standards in the world.

To protect your health, both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) maintain exacting standards.

MassDEP requires your local water supplier to perform ongoing tests for the presence of bacteria, lead and other heavy metals, herbicides and pesticides, and industrial solvents.

What about drinking right from a stream? Is It Safe To Drink Water From A Stream In Massachusetts?

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My children, best friend and I went for a hike in the Pittsfield State Forest a few years back then ended up longer than we anticipated and we got thirsty. We hadn't planned on being away that long, so we didn't bring a ton of water with us. There were plenty of streams, though!

We drank from it, but it is considered unsafe, however. We did not get sick, so I guess we got lucky.

Never drink water from a natural source that you haven’t purified, even if the water looks clean. Water in a stream, river or lake may look clean, but it can still be filled with bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can result in waterborne diseases, such as cryptosporidiosis or giardiasis.

Although moving water is safer than still water (bacteria can grow easier), you can purify water by boiling it if you have access to an open flame camping or hiking in the woods.

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