HomeMoorestown NewsMoorestown Council announces one water well reopens, the second to enter pilot...

Moorestown Council announces one water well reopens, the second to enter pilot program

Moorestown Wells 7 and 9 on Church Street were closed last October as a precaution and on the recommendation of the state Department of Environmental Protection due to an unregulated substance called Trichloropropane (TCP 1,2,3) being found in the water at .067 parts per billion. Since then, the township has been working with the NJDEP to find the best treatment option for the wells.

At a special council meeting on Tuesday, June 16, township administrator Scott Carew announced that Well 7 tested as a non-detect for TCP 1,2,3 and would be turned back on the next day, Wednesday, June 17, and tested on a monthly basis. Well 9 still tested positive for the TCP 1,2,3 and would be put on a pilot program for possibly the next two years.

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Earlier in the year, the township hired toxicologist Dr. James Bus to conduct further testing on the two wells. That testing took place two weeks ago. The results came back with a higher level of TCP 1,2,3 in Well 9 with a .103 parts per billion, but a non-detect in Well 7.

Because of this, Well 7 was reopened and will be tested on a monthly basis indefinitely, according to township utilities engineer L. Russell Trice, senior associate at Alaimo Group, Consulting Engineers. If TCP 1,2,3 returns in the testing, the township will consult NJDEP once again on its recommendation.

According to Trice, the pilot plan for Well 9 — which runs 30 feet deeper into the ground than Well 7 — would be done on a small scale in a trailer, with the most likely treatment being carbon absorption. Samples during this testing will be done on a weekly basis for four weeks. After that, it will take another four weeks to get the results and another few weeks to finalize the report for the township to review. From there they will go into design, which could take about a year.

In total, the process should take roughly two years, according to Trice, but the results of the treatment would be immediate.

At the same time, the township is interested in the removal of other substances found in the wells, which include trichloroethylene (TCE), manganese and other radiological contaminants. According to Trice, manganese is regulated for aesthetic reasons, and the TCE and radiological elements are not above the maximum contaminate level. However, the township wanted to have these treated so Moorestown would have clean water pumped to houses.

As of now, with the wells off, the township had paid $400,000 more last year from New Jersey American Water and $1.2 million so far this year, according to Carew. But, with Well 7 being turned back on, Carew believes the township would be able to recapture some of the cost later in the year by turning off NJ American Water and exclusively using Well 7.

“You don’t need both wells,” Carew said. “We should be able to get enough water from Well 7 to pick up from Well 9.”

Although council had some concerns with communication and testing timing, it endorsed the plan to turn Well 7 back on and the pilot testing for Well 9.

“I think it is great. I think this council has been proactive. We got a recommendation on an unregulated contaminant and … have been going well beyond monitoring and trying to figure out solutions. I wish we didn’t spend as much money as we did, but hopefully this will help and have a solution that will take care of all the rest. Taking steps to have the cleanest possible water should be commended, and I think this council and our employees have been doing a great job,” Councilwoman Stacey Jordan said. “I think it is great that we can turn that well back on and that we can hopefully recoup some of the money that we have been spending.”

“If we have a non-detect now, we absolutely should be turning the well back on. I want to be spending as little money on water as possible when we are capable of producing the water ourselves, with ongoing monitoring, of course, to make sure that stays at the level we expect it to. I am much happier that the majority of the water is coming from our water treatment plants,” Mayor Victoria Napolitano said.

Residents were allowed to come up for public comments, however they were cut short as a meeting was to take place at the Town Hall Council Chambers not long after. Council said those who wish to make further comments could come to future council meetings. Councilman Greg Newcomer recommended a meeting specifically for the water and wells, as well as to find a way to keep people updated.

“As we go forward, I hope we continually report … for people in the town and for us to know. Maybe we can, in some manner, report on a regular basis,” Newcomer said.


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