To Cotuit Residents:

Each year the Cotuit Water Department publishes and distributes a Consumer Confidence Report.This report illustrates that our community is supplied with high quality drinking water year after year. This report is mailed to each household and is available at the Water department office.

It has come to our attention that public notices regarding Maximum Contaminant Level Violations recently posted in the Cape Cod Times and on the Cotuit Fire District website have led to some misconceptions about the quality of the drinking water in the Village.

Cotuit’s water system is operated under strict guidelines established and enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The DEP requires that water samples are collected and submitted for analysis on a regular schedule. In the course of a year over 500 tests are conducted to detect a variety of potential contaminants including naturally occurring substances like metals and coliform bacteria.

Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other potentially harmful bacteria, may be present.   Weather, changes in the water flow, tank or main repair work and other situations can easily change the composition of the water and introduce these bacteria.

Because coliform bacteria is classified as an indicator organism, DEP-regulated water systems are permitted to have varying numbers of positive results per month based on the size of the system.  We are a small system and are allowed to have only one (1) positive analysis for coliform bacteria in a month. If we have more than that, though it is not a health concern, it is considered a DEP violation. At that time, an e-coli test is run immediately.  If e-coli were to be detected, the public would be notified immediately, because it is considered a health issue.  Though we have detected coliform bacteria, we have NEVER had a sample test positive for e-coli. Therefore, no immediate notification is mandated or recommended by the DEP. We must, however, post a notice with DEP-mandated language within 30 days of detection.

We work diligently to provide you with the highest quality of water and follow all federal EPA and MA DEP regulations expeditiously. We hope that if there are questions concerning the quality of the drinking water, you will call us to obtain the correct information.


Christopher Wiseman

Superintendent , Cotuit Water Department