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Water samples for house sales now valid for one year

Residents planning to sell their Harvard houses will find complying with local regulations a bit easier these days.

At a March 22 meeting, the Harvard Board of Health voted to extend the length of time for which a required water quality analysis is valid from six months to 12 months.

Health agent Ira Grossman told the board he had received several requests from Harvard residents who were in the process of selling their houses to extend the time period. The town requires drinking water wells to be tested when constructed and before the sale of property. The regulation now states that water sample results are valid for 12 months from the sample date to the date of property transfer. Results must still be submitted to the board no less than 30 days before transferring ownership.

Wells are tested for substances such as coliform and radon, as well as various elements such as arsenic, calcium, and iron. The board recently added PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) to the list for properties in areas where private wells tested positive during the Army’s investigations of PFAS groundwater contamination near Devens.

Alison Flynn, Board of Health clerk, told the board she will notify local real estate agents, as well as local water treatment and well drilling contractors, of the change to the regulation

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