The Moorestown Water Group, a group formed to stay informed about the township’s water issues as well as advocating for the cleanest water for residents, held a meeting last week spreading information about Moorestown’s water, expressing concerns on regulations and planning its next course of action.
The group’s concerns are over the chemicals Trichloropropane (TCP 1,2,3), Trichlorethylene (TCE), Gross Alpha, Combined Radium and Manganese being found in the township’s drinking water.
Water Group member Danielle Brodecki, a Moorestown resident and utility engineer, said even though Moorestown is not in violation of any maximum contaminant levels per the state Department of Environmental Protection’s standards, it does not mean there have not been exceedances. Brodecki gave examples from the annual 2014 Moorestown Water Quality Report, which states gross alpha and combined radium had exceeded the MCL. However, because the MCL was not exceeded in four quarters, or the running annual average over the year, then it is not a violation per the NJDEP.
According to the New Jersey Drinking Water Watch website, Moorestown has not exceeded the MCL for radium since the 2014 report and the gross alpha since June 2015.
Moorestown is aware of the concerns of the citizens, especially with TCP 1,2,3 and TCE. To address the concerns, the township has had a pilot plan in place that will find a way to filter out all of the chemical concerns; has turned off the water wells containing TCP 1,2,3 and TCE and is using New Jersey American Water; and is going out for a temporary solution of a carbon filtration system to get rid of the TCP 1,2,3 and TCE from the wells so it can have the affected wells running during the summer, the peak time of water use.
However, the Moorestown Water Group is not happy with the temporary solution. It would like the temporary solution to address all of the chemicals causing concern. They feel the temporary solution is a waste of money and would rather continue to use New Jersey American Water or find another solution.
The group has also expressed concerns with finding the source of the man-made chemicals, the length of time it will take for the permanent solution to be put in and the costs of everything. The permanent solution, as of now, is planning to be installed in the summer of 2017.
In attendance at the meeting were 2016 Moorestown Democratic council candidate Kati Angelini and state Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-7). Angelini has been one of the individuals spearheading the group.
Conaway, too, is no stranger to Moorestown’s water. In 2014, he and Troy Singleton proposed legislation that would establish safe maximum contaminant levels of Trichloropropane (TCP 1, 2, 3), as Hawaii is the only state that regulates it.
This came after residents began to express concern over levels of an unregulated contaminant that was reported in the township’s drinking water in its 2013 Water Quality Report. That bill was approved by both the state Assembly and the Senate, but vetoed by Gov. Christie.
At the meeting, Conaway suggested that when speaking about the issue, they present the facts and possible dangers, as well as the possible costs, which are important to include because it could affect taxes.
He also expressed his concerns with the regulation authority that NJDEP has on locally-run water companies. He feels the NJDEP should have more authority over them. Conaway said he would investigate the issue further and see what actions he could take as an assemblyman.
The group planned to attend the Moorestown council meeting held Monday, April 11 to express its concerns during public comment. Members also plan to spread the word through social media, letters, speaking to authorities in town such as the Moorestown Ministerium and word of mouth.
The Moorestown Water Group has a presence on Facebook, which can be found by searching “Moorestown Water.” The group has more than 500 likes. Those interested in learning more about the group and updates on the township’s water can go there or visit the township’s website at www.moorestown.nj.us.