HomeMoorestown NewsMoorestown Township reviews Water Consultant Report, drinking water safe

Moorestown Township reviews Water Consultant Report, drinking water safe

Since two water wells were closed last October, the township has been working with the state Department of Environmental Protection to find the best treatment option.

The closing of Wells 7 and 9 on Church Street was a precaution and on NJDEP recommendation. A small amount of an unregulated substance, Trichloropropane (TCP 1,2,3), was found in the water at .067 parts per billion.

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While a Water Consultant Report was being completed, well 7 was reopened after testing “non-detected” in June. The report was completed July 17 and was posted on the township website on Aug. 12.

“The health and safety of our residents is paramount to the township, and the drinking water in town is safe,” township manager Scott Carew said. “Moorestown has been in compliance with state and federal drinking water regulations. The township continues to work with the NJDEP to determine the best treatment solution to ensure we have the cleanest water possible.”

The Water Consultant Report determined the risk of using the wells while treatment was put into place. The results came back with the potential for non-cancer risks being low and all estimated cancer risks below the EPA target.

The report is an expert evaluation of the health risk levels of using wells 7 and 9 within the context of the TCP 1,2,3. The unregulated substance was found during Moorestown’s participation in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 3 program, which is a mandatory program to collect data for contaminants that do not have health-based drinking water standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The report enables the township to make sound, responsible decisions regarding any potential health risk caused by the TCP, according to Carew. While the report was being completed, the township closed the wells in question.

Dr. James Bus of the firm Exponent completed the Water Consultant Report. According to Carew, Bus was chosen because he is one of the nation’s leading toxicologists.

The firm conducted a risk assessment using standard EPA methodology and regulatory risk values, and using data provided by the township’s water and sewer consulting engineer, Alaimo. It took several months for the report to be complete.

Report results

The Water Consultant Report determined the potential for non-cancer risks being low in the Moorestown wells, “with margins of exposure of over 1,000-times lower than the drinking water equivalent level (DWEL).”

The DWEL is a water concentration to which an individual could be exposed for a lifetime with the expectation that adverse, non-cancer effects would not occur.

The report also concluded all estimated cancer risks are below the EPA target of a 1 in 10,000 extra cancer risk for drinking water contaminants. “Given the anticipated short-term exposure to TCP, a more conservative cancer risk level is not warranted,” the report read.

“While it would be difficult to find anything we consume to be completely risk-free, the risk of drinking water from wells 7 and 9 is far lower than the target that the U.S. EPA and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection use (1 in 10,000 extra cancer risk for drinking water contaminants),” Carew said. “To put it into context, it is far lower than the risk of getting hit by lightning (1 in 12,000 per the National Weather Service).”

Reopening of well 7

Since it is being used for a pilot treatment program, well 9 remains closed. Well 7 was reopened in June, as there was a non-detect for TCP 1,2,3.

It is tested on a monthly basis, and if TCP 1,2,3 returns, the township said it would consult NJDEP once again for a recommendation. This occurred after a recent reading of 0.07 parts per billion of TCP 1,2,3 in well 7. Upon conferring with the NJDEP, the township is keeping the well on and will continue to monitor it monthly.

“To put this into context, the only state to regulate TCP is Hawaii and their maximum contaminant level is 0.6 or nearly 10 times higher than our most recent number,” Carew said.

The full Water Consultant Report is available to the public for viewing online at the Moorestown Township website at www.moorestown.nj.us. Bus’ profile can be viewed at www.exponent.com/james_bus/.


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