COVID-19 Message – Please re-visit the Township website in September for any changes/updates to this year’s well testing program and sales.
While many of us know our blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels, do you know the levels of coliform bacteria, arsenic and other contaminants in your drinking water? When was the last time you had your well water tested? If your family gets its drinking water from a private well, how do you know that the water is safe to drink? Unlike public drinking water systems, private wells are not checked for contamination before the water is sent to the tap. Households that use private wells must take special precautions to ensure the safety of their drinking water supplies.
Safe drinking water is essential to good health, and testing well water at a certified lab is the only way to know whether water from a private well is safe. Testing your well water for chemical and biological contamination is important since many contaminants can be harmful, even though they are tasteless and odorless. Both human-caused and naturally occurring contaminants are often found in private wells. Nitrates and bacteria, which can lead to immediate and serious health conditions, may be found in well water as a result of a poorly performing septic system or a nearby agricultural source. Two naturally occurring elements, arsenic and radon, are also commonly found in well water in northwestern New Jersey. Scientific studies associate long-term exposure to arsenic and radon with cancer and other health effects.
Public health authorities recommend annual testing. If your well has not been tested for several years, now is the time to test. You can sample your well water as part of this year’s Community Well Testing Program.
The Delaware Township Environmental Commission and the Raritan Headwaters Association (RHA) are co-sponsoring a community well-testing program for homeowners to test their drinking water for chemical and biological contaminants at a reduced cost. If your household water comes from a private well, it is not tested by any state or local authority. You are responsible for the quality of your well water.
Water test kits are available for purchase on Tuesday, September 8th thru Thursday, September 10th, and Tuesday September 15th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Delaware Township Municipal Building. Well water test kits will also be available for purchase at the Delaware Township Municipal Building in the evening on Wednesday, September 9th from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm.
Each test kit comes with easy-to-follow instructions and all required containers. To purchase a test kit, you must use a check (no cash) made payable to the Raritan Headwaters Association.
Sample containers and completed paperwork must be returned to the Township Building on Wednesday, September 16th between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 am.
Residents may have their drinking water tested for coliform bacteria and nitrates for $60. Additional testing options are available. Please see below “What Should I Test My Well Water For?” for a complete listing of the available tests and the associated prices.
For more information about RHA’s well testing program, please call Mara Tippett at (908) 234-1852 ext. 401 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: While all water samples are analyzed by a certified laboratory, be advised that since you are collecting the water samples yourself, the sample results may not be defendable in a court of law (ie any future litigation against PennEast). In addition, the sample results cannot be used for to satisfy the Private Well Testing Act if you are selling or renting your home. The sample results from the Community Well-Testing Program should be used for your informational purpose to assess your drinking water quality.
Therefore, if you are selling or renting your home and need to obtain sample results for the Private Well Testing Act or the sample results need to be defendable in a court of law, you should engage the services of a certified laboratory for both sample collection and analysis. In addition, a chain of custody (seal on bottles and chain of custody record) should be maintained by both the person collecting the samples and by the laboratory. Please see www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply/pw_pwta.html and click on the “List of New Jersey Certified Laboratories” for a complete listing of Certified Drinking Water Laboratories.
Learn what you should have your well tested for here.