Edgartown alerts well users to water quality problem


The Edgartown board of health issued a health advisory on Tuesday concerning elevated nitrate levels found in private well water serving residents of Price’s Way, Huckleberry Hill Lane, Shady Oak Lane, and Dubud Lane.

Using the Island’s Code Red phone messaging system, town officials directed the warning to residents of those four streets, as well as others subscribed to the town’s text-message warning system.

“The Edgartown board of health has learned of two water sample test results from drinking water wells in your neighborhood that have nitrate levels above 10 parts per million,” the board of health said in the message. “This level of nitrate is considered elevated. You are encouraged to have your well water tested. Elevated nitrate levels are a potential health risk, especially to infants less than six months of age and to the elderly.”

The alert emphasized that the advisory does not apply to town water department customers.

“If you live on Price’s Way, Shady Oak Lane, Huckleberry Hill Lane, or Dubud Lane, you are advised to not drink well water until you have your water tested and confirm that your well water meets the drinking water standard for nitrate,” the alert said.

Edgartown health agent Matt Poole said the most likely cause of the high nitrate readings is flow from septic systems getting into a well.

He said the homes in the area are relatively new and meet modern code standards that require wells to be at least 100 feet way from septic systems.

Residents of those neighborhoods who wish to arrange for water testing may call the board of health at 508-627-6120 or visit the town website at www.edgartown-ma.us for additional information.

The cost of water testing is $10.