EOWC Will Install Water Filtration System, Says Township
System will remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from water supply.
The following was posted on the South Orange Village website on March 16:
As the culmination of South Orange’s nearly two year fight to ensure the safety of our water supply grows nearer, East Orange Water has committed to the installation of state of the art, comprehensive water filtration and purification systems to remove any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including trichloroethylene from the water produced from its wells. The EOWC made this commitment to the Special Master. (an independent attorney appointed by the Superior Court Judge to manage, oversee and expedite the litigation filed by South Orange against EOWC) EOWC’s commitment was made in response to the Village’s demands in our lawsuit against EWOC over water quality issues and other complaints against EOWC.
As an immediate, interim measure, EOWC has retained a New York environmental engineering firm, Hazen & Sawyer, to design and prepare bid specifications for the installation of Granular Activated Charcoal (GAC) filtration systems on the affected wells at a total estimated project cost of $1.3 million. The GAC systems, approved by both the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), use granular activated charcoal to filter out VOC’s and other potential contaminants. Under the project timeline presented to the Special Master, this system is anticipated to be installed and operational by the end of December 2013. Until that time, all water will continue to be independently tested by the South Orange and EOWC will continue to purchase water from Newark, as needed, to ensure the supply of safe drinking water to South Orange.
The EOWC also committed to the Special Master to immediately proceed with the design and construction of a permanent “air stripper” water purification facility which will treat all water in the EOWC water system. This project will collect all EOWC system water into a single facility where it will undergo an air stripping process to remove any VOCs. As with the GAC filtration system, air stripping is proven technology which is approved by the NJDEP and the EPA for the treatment of drinking water and removal of VOCs. The current projection for the completion of construction of the air stripper facility is approximately 2 to 3 years. These commitments will be enforceable by South Orange and the NJDEP and the design, construction, implementation and operation of both of these systems will be subject to the inspection and continuing oversight of the NJDEP.
South Orange officials welcomed these commitments by EOWC which affirm and vindicate the Village’s positions asserted in the litigation and, most importantly, ensure the continued supply of safe drinking water to our residents in both the immediate and long term future. South Orange will continue to vigilantly monitor EOWC and the water quality and pursue our claims against the EOWC while exploring all available options for future water supply in the best interests of the community.
Community members are reminded there is a meeting at 7:30pm on Tuesday in Village Hall with Village officials and the NJDEP to discuss any questions that might exist about the water. The video will be available online.