Home Sicklerville News Gloucester Township residents notified of drinking water violation

Gloucester Township residents notified of drinking water violation

December and January samples showed insufficient disinfectant levels

Some Gloucester Township residents have received notification of a violation in their water systems.  

According to a document distributed within the township, Aqua America — which operates Aqua NJ — Blackwood received a violation due to insufficient levels of disinfectant residue in its water distribution system.

“In December and January, we collected over 100 samples within the water distribution system and within the two-month period, there were approximately seven samples that had a chlorine residual of .04 parts per million, two samples that had a residual of .02 parts per million and one sample that had a residual of .03 parts per million,” said Dan Lockwood, communications manager with Aqua America, in a statement to The Sun.

Lockwood added the standard is that disinfectant residual cannot be under .05 mg/L in more than 5 percent of samples for two months in a row.

Data from December and January show minimum detectable chlorine residuals were not reported in approximately 13 percent of measurements from December and nearly 6 percent of measurements from January.

Lower measurements than .05 mg/L raise the risk that the water may have contained disease causing organisms, according to the document distributed to homes. But Lockwood said  additional data obtained by Aqua America indicates that, during the two months the company was in violation of disinfectant residuals, bacteria as not present despite the lower levels. 

“In December and January, we also completed over 100 samples for total Coliform (bacteria) in the distribution system and all results showed that there were no bacteria present in the drinking water,” Lockwood noted.

Due to the violations, Lockwood said, the state Department of Environmental Protection requires the company to notify residents potentially affected by the water system, which serves a population of nearly 45,000 people. Aqua had 30 days to notify the public once it was ordered by the state at the beginning of March.

Since the insufficient levels in December and January, Aqua has increased chlorine levels in February to above .05 parts per million, as well as increasing levels to above .1 parts per million in March.

Lockwood said the violations are not an emergency; if they were, the company  would have promoted “immediate notification” to residents. There is currently no requirement to boil water and no other corrective action is needed.

For additional information on the violations and corrective actions being taken, residents can reach out to Alissa R. Vanim of Aqua America at (609) 587-4080, ext. 56526. 

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