Village Releases Water Test Results

Figures are current as of Tuesday, Nov. 27.

From the Village of South Orange:

Dear South Orange Residents and Business Owners,

In March 2011, the NJDEP cited the EOWC for exceeding the allowable concentration of one volatile organic compound (VOC), tetrachloroethylene, in drinking water distributed by EOWC. In particular, the NJDEP’s Notice indicated that, based on twelve months of water samples collected from within EOWC’s system through the first quarter of 2011, the NJDEP had calculated a running annual average of 1.54 µg/L (micro-grams per liter) for tetrachloroethylene. The applicable NJDEP regulations require that the running annual average for tetrachloroethylene, not exceed the NJDEP’s maximum concentration limit (“MCL”) of 1 µg/L, equivalent to 1 part per billion. The rounding protocol currently used by the NJDEP treats a running annual average of 1.5 µg/L or greater as an exceedance. Thus, the 1.54 µg/L result exceeded that figure.

In order to keep its residents advised of the current quality of water being provided by EOWC to the South Orange residents, the Village has decided to post on its website the concentrations of tetrachloroethylene found in samples taken from two locations. The first location is the EOWC finishing plant at the Millburn Pump Station, which sample is taken from the blended water from all of the EOWC wells. This sample is the official sample taken by EOWC and reported to the NJDEP. This sample is now taken by EOWC once a month, and it was the results from this sampling point which the NJDEP used to calculate the 2011 violation. The second location is from the tap at the Crest Drive firehouse. Water at this location is a blend of the EOWC water and water from Well #17 in South Orange, and is more indicative of the water that is actually distributed by EOWC within the Village. The Trustees have directed that samples at this location be taken independently of EOWC’s sampling. Beginning in February 2012 samples from this location are taken twice a month. The result of the EOWC testing and the Village’s independent testing are set forth below.

Currently, the levels detected to not rise to the level of a NJDEP violation, but, as can be seen, the levels are high enough to warrant diligent monitoring. Please be assured that in the event there are ever results which would cause health concerns, the Village will immediately notify all affected water customers.


Date EOWC Result SOV Result January 2, 2012 1.02 µg/L   January 20, 2012   0.916 µg/L February 2, 2012 0.959 µg/L   February 20, 2012   0.849 µg/L February 27, 2012   0.849 µg/L March 6, 2012 0.938 µg/L   March 23, 2012   0.953 µg/L March 30, 2012   0.940 µg/L April 3, 2012 1.08 µg/L   May 1, 2012 .0942 µg/L   May 7, 2012   0.972 µg/L May 18, 2012   0.936 µg/L June 1, 2012   1.12 µg/L June 1, 2012 1.06 µg/L   June 20, 2012   0.89 µg/L July 2, 2012 0.847 µg/L   July 6, 2012   0.92 µg/L July 23, 2012   0.756 µg/L August 1, 2012 1.18 µg/L   August 2, 2012   1.01 µg/L September 13, 2012 1.15 µg/L   September 27, 2012 1.48 µg/L   September 28, 2012   1.17 µg/L October 1, 2012 1.16 µg/L   October 12, 2012   0.863 µg/L

Patch will follow this story with updates and more information.

Debra Bernath November 28, 2012 at 01:28 PM
This is confusing. It says in the first paragraph that tetrachloroethylene exceeded the NJDEP standard:NJDEP treats a running annual average of 1.5 µg/L or greater as an exceedance.The last paragraph says:"Currently, the levels detected to not rise to the level of a NJDEP violation, but, as can be seen, the levels are high enough to warrant diligent monitoring." and continues to say that if there are health concerns the Village will notify its customers. To me, exceeded, is a concern and I would like for this to be explained further. Diligent monitoring does not provide me comfort in knowing that my water tests exceeds NJDEP standards.
Robert W. Osborne November 28, 2012 at 02:44 PM
This contaminant is almost certainly coming from one or more of our local dry cleaning facilities, dumping their waste. A second possible source could be any industrial cleaning facility in the area. Although it would take many years and persistent dumping for it to be of a health concern, someone should check into the current dry cleaner waste procedures. I'm basing my information on graduate level ground water engineering, web research of this contaminant, and as a professional engineer. Personally, I always drink Brita carbon-filtered water, and even use it for my coffee.
David Jones November 28, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Debra, I'm not sure I understand. Diligent monitoring is exactly the way you determine whether the water exceeds NJDEP standards.
Debra Bernath November 29, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Hello David, from what is stated above, tetrachloroethylene has already exceeded NJDEP standards, SO we continue to diligently monitor? how? Keep measuring the water level from two locations. What does this do for us? I personally would like to be informed of the dangers of this chemical; be given an option and suggestion to drink cleaner water and search for the source of this chemical leaching into our water. And yes, I drink and use filtered water.


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