NJ Water Testing Resources
Water pollution should be your major concern.
List of organizations:
which have the authorization to assist in protections is important. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates contamination through the Clean Water Act (1972), the Safe Drinking Water Act (1974), among other laws and statutes. Nearly 90 different chemicals that are known pollutants of soil and water are regulated by the EPA, who has made a maximum contaminant level for these chemicals.
This information is presented in the Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List, which also discusses priorities for research and further regulation. Part of the job of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water is to ensure contaminants do not become intermixed with water and soil. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers guidelines regarding drinking water if an abnormally high risk of health ramifications (such the possibility of a compromised immune system) exists.
Another excellent resource for research, is the Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry (ATSDR) which has been done on hazardous substances and their proliferation. Research on healthy water and regulations is conducted and data is collected by the National Center for Environmental Assessment.
All of the following are potential water contaminants:
* Heavy metals: Examples include lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury from industrial use, incineration and disposal in landfills. Testing the water for lead is an especially important precaution as so many cities still use lead piping to distribute water and over 800 cities register water above the EPA’s .15mg/l threshold for action.
* Non-metallic inorganics: Such as insecticides, nitrates and asbestos. These substances may enter the water supply through use in agriculture or the storage and distribution of water itself. Private wells are especially susceptible to this variety of hazardous contamination.
Pathogens: Bacteria, parasites and viruses such as hepatitis and giardiasis. Most water is disinfected against biological contamination, however if one is concerned about parasites, it may be prudent to contact the local water company and make sure adequate measures are being taken to preserve health and safety.
* Synthetic Organic Compounds: This is basically a catch-all for over 50,000 substances with widely varying solubility, volatility, vaporization and toxicity. They include additives to solvents, pesticides, plastics, cleaners and cosmetics.
* Radioactive substances: This can be caused by both man man and naturally occurring processes. The substances found include radon, radium, uranium, and strontium. There is no federal law requiring testing for these elements, thus, again, it may be a responsible gesture to confirm that your local water company does an adequate comprehensive analysis.
* Chlorine and Trihalomethanes: Chlorine is added to water to disinfect it, as discussed above. Unfortunately, it also reacts with organic chemicals left in the water by soil and decaying vegetation, forming a group of chemicals called trihalomethanes (THM). THMs are carcinogens which are methane derivatives.
There are many potential health hazards present in our water and it should be carefully monitored.