Well Water Testing Available to Peapack-Gladstone Residents
If your family gets drinking water from a private well, how do you know that the water is safe to drink? Unlike public drinking water systems, private wells are not regularly checked for contamination before the water is sent to the tap. Households that use private wells must take special precautions to ensure the safety of their drinking water supplies. You cannot see, taste or smell many common well water contaminants, so regular testing is very important.
Much like annual preventative health screenings, an annual well test for bacteria and nitrates is an important part of maintaining good health. This practice ensures early detection of contamination so that measures can be taken to correct it. Those residents on public water are encouraged to test their water for lead as the primary source of lead contamination is indoor plumbing. This winter, the Peapack-Gladstone Environmental Commission will partner with nonprofit clean water advocate Raritan Headwaters to offer water testing to citizens at below-market cost.
Residents can purchase water sample collection kits at Town Hall on January 27 from 9 am to noon. Water samples must be dropped off at Town Hall on Thursday, February 1st between 8:00am and 9:00am. Test results will be available two weeks later.
Raritan Headwaters is a non-profit watershed conservation organization working to protect and preserve the public’s access to safe, clean water that is swimmable, fishable and most importantly, drinkable. Eighty percent of the residents of this region – about 320,000 people - obtain their drinking water through wells. Well water pollutants found in the region include coliform bacteria, nitrate, arsenic, iron, radon and volatile organic compounds. Sources of contamination may be failing septic systems, chemicals like fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and naturally-occurring contaminants. Water may also become contaminated with lead and copper as it travels through older pipes in the home. As such, lead testing is available to residents on both public and well water for $25.
Raritan Headwaters offers a “basic kit” for coliform bacteria and nitrate for $60. Residents may also test for other potential contaminants at an additional cost. Staff members at RHA are available to advise citizens who are uncertain about which tests to order and to review individual results after testing is complete. More information on the tests we offer can be found at www.testmywell.org. Testing is performed by a private state certified laboratory and results are confidential.
The Community Well Testing program was established in 1974, allowing RHA to monitor the health of our region’s groundwater supply for over four decades. Raritan Headwaters recently completed a 30-year trend analysis of well water tests in the region, which showed an increase in arsenic levels in several towns as well as slight increases in coliform bacteria and nitrate concentrations.
Your private well is an important investment that is best protected by regular check-ups to ensure a reliable and safe source of drinking water for you and your family.
Residents who aren’t able to take advantage of the Borough’s Community Well Test event can contact Mara Tippett, Raritan Headwaters’ Well Test Manager, anytime throughout the year to arrange to pick up a test kit in Bedminster. She can be contacted at 908-234-1852, ext. 401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Raritan Headwaters and its programs and preserves, go to www.raritanheadwaters.org.