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Health Indicator Report of Arsenic in Community Drinking Water Systems

Arsenic is a naturally-occurring element, and trace amounts can be found in geologic formations and aquifers in parts of New Jersey. Arsenic may also be found in soil due to the past use of arsenic compounds as a pesticide and wood preservative. Arsenic is classified by the US EPA as a human carcinogen. Exposure to large amounts of arsenic may increase the risk of cancer of the skin, lung, liver, kidney and bladder. Arsenic exposure can also cause diarrhea, thickening and discoloration of the skin, diabetes, and heart disease.

Data Source

Bureau of Safe Drinking Water, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Definition

The distribution of arsenic concentration in drinking water, by community water system, population served and year

Numerator

Number of community water systems or estimated count of population served, by arsenic concentration in drinking water

Denominator

Not applicable

How Are We Doing?

In order to determine the quality of water provided by community water supplies in New Jersey, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) require mandatory, regular monitoring of treated water delivered to the public. Test results are compared to standards for drinking water quality called maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs), the maximum permissible level of a contaminant in public drinking water based on information on health effects, treatment, analytical methods and contaminant occurrence. A complete list of the regulated contaminants and the maximum permissible concentrations allowed in drinking water are listed on NJDEP's website at: [http://www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply/pdf/dw_standards_2_2005.pdf] The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) adopted a new maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 5 micrograms per liter in January 2006, giving New Jersey the most protective arsenic drinking water standard in the nation. The MCL for arsenic in the U.S. is 10 micrograms per liter. During the last decade, less than 30 New Jersey community water systems have exceeded either the federal or New Jersey arsenic MCL.

What Is Being Done?

Public water suppliers are required by law to monitor for regulated contaminants based on type of water system and water source, and ensure the water meets state and federal Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs). The test results are sent to the NJDEP. If the level of any regulated contaminant is above the MCL, additional samples are taken to confirm that a problem exists. The supplier of that water is then required to eliminate the problem by changing to another water source or by improving water treatment. The NJDEP inspects community drinking water systems and evaluates their monitoring reports for compliance with the standards. Noncompliance with a standard can result in a violation. NJDEP works with systems to ensure they notify the public and return to compliance.

Available Services

If your drinking water comes from a community water system: You can get the most recent test results for your water system by contacting your water supplier or by accessing Drinking WaterWatch available here: [https://www9.state.nj.us/DEP_WaterWatch_public/index.jsp] You can also contact the NJDEP Bureau of Safe Drinking Water Technical Assistance at (609) 292-5550. If your drinking water comes from a private well: You are responsible for testing. The NJDEP recommends that you use a laboratory that is NJDEP-certified. You can call the NJDEP Office of Quality Assurance at (609) 292-3950 for information on laboratories certified to test drinking water. Testing is required for sale of residential real estate when a private well is the source of water. For more information, contact the NJDEP Private Well Testing Program, [http://www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply/pw_pwta.html], or call (866) 479-8378.

Health Program Information

For questions regarding health effects of arsenic in drinking water, contact the New Jersey Department of Health, Consumer and Environmental Health Services, PO Box 369, Trenton, NJ 08625-0369; (609) 826-4984. For concerns regarding Federal and State drinking water regulations and public water supply monitoring results, contact the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Safe Drinking Water Implementation or Bureau of Safe Drinking Water Technical Assistance, (609) 292-5550. To inquire about New Jersey certified laboratories for arsenic testing of drinking water, contact the Office of Quality Assurance at (609) 292-3950 For information on Federal drinking water regulations, health effects of arsenic in drinking water, and other water safety issues, contact the United States Environmental Protection Agency Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 Contact your Public Water Utility for public drinking water regulations and monitoring results.
Page Content Updated On 10/24/2017, Published on 10/25/2017
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site (https://nj.gov/health/shad). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 17 December 2017 20:26:22 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: https://nj.gov/health/shad ".

Content updated: Wed, 15 Nov 2017 07:52:42 EST