Water in New Jersey overall is safe to drink. There are many articles online that talk about lead in Jersey’s water or the cancer inducing chemical, Chromium-6 that was made famous in the 2000 Julia Roberts movie “Erin Brochovich,”. According to the new study published by the Environmental Working Group at least 138 New Jersey towns have this cancer causing chemical in our water. The findings would pose a negligible risk over a lifetime of consumption according to the environmental protection agency (EPA). The point I am trying to make is that we have to be very careful with our drinking water and where we get our water from in order to keep us safe.
New Jersey is thankful to have no shortage of water unlike California. We have no mandatory water restrictions on our water usage. In some areas of New Jersey there is a voluntary water conservation observed, even and odd watering in areas like Howell, around Philadelphia, Union, and Hillsborough. For the full list and to see if your town observes waster conservation go to njaw.wateroutage.com and check.
It is important to check where you get your water from and check the quality of the water. Depending on your location where you get your water can be different. In more rural areas with low density your water probably comes from a private well. Public water is too expensive to provide in areas where that homes are very distant from each other. With a private well there in no annual water quality check to see if your water is safe it is up to you to do that. In New Jersey most homes are supported municipal or public water because our state has the highest population density out of all 50 states. There is usually one water pipe that goes into your house with a meter that measures how much water you use. If you get billed for water it is because you are on a public water system. They are legally responsible for testing your drinking water and providing an annual report that is available for their consumers. To identify your public water system in New Jersey, you can visit NJ Source Water Assessment Program.
The future of New Jersey water infrastructure lies in projects like Jersey Water Works. Their job is to improve urban water infrastructure by investing in sustainable, cost effective solutions that provide communities with clean water and waterways. Other issues like storm drains overflowing causing flooding and combined sewer overflows are being addressed by the Build it Green (BIG) Competition in three selected cities: Gloucester City, Jersey City, and Perth Amboy. These water infrastructure needs to be great because of the high demand from the high metropolitan population. Also the drainage system must be good because of the lack of green space to absorb the rainfall. BIG will provide technical assistance and engineering support services for those three cities. But all these improvement cost a pretty penny and with all that’s going on in New Jersey this is just another issue that will need to be addressed or we could see another major problem with our infrastructure.