Town Council voted Monday night to spend $15,000 to pipe water from the municipal water system’s Well No. 3 to its Well No. 1, where it can be run through a filtering system to remove volatile organic compounds, as a precautionary measure.
Well No. 3 has not exceeded safe limits for the potential cancern causing chemical ethylene dibromide, which is a contaminant from leaded gasoline and no-longer-used pesticides. But it is expected to eventually do so. It is located near Well No. 1 on Lincoln Avenue, which exceeded those limits last Fall. A $168,000 filtering system was installed on an emergency basis on Well No. 1 in December.
“It’s a pre-emptive move,” said Councilman Mickey Pullia, who heads the Public Works Committee for council. He said there will be no adverse effect on the filter, since one well would run through it at a time.
Assistant Water Plant Operator Mike Ott said Well No. 3 recently tested clear for EDB.
He also reported water from Wells No. 5 and No. 7 on 14th Street recently tested at 2 picocuries per liter of radionculides, after completion of a $1.7 million filtering system to remove the naturally occuring radium. Previously they tested at 18 to 20 picocuries per liter, he said. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets limits of 15.49 picocuries per liter for radionuclides.
Pullia said the number may go lower as the wells come back on with the filter.
Wells No. 5 and No. 7 have been offline for more than a year, and will be ready to be turned on again later this week. But Pullia said the town will probably keep relying on Well No. 1 for a while, and save the use of No. 5 and No. 7 for the summer months, when water use spikes.
Well No. 4 at Plymouth and Main roads has a problem with both radium and EDB, and is the only one on the municipal system that still needs remediation. Pullia said it is in the engineering phase, and he expects to submit a plan to the New Jersey Infrastructure Trust in March, to request funding.
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