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  • Writer's pictureMarc Ziccardi

Top 5 Water Contaminants in New Jersey: Understanding the risks and safeguarding your health.

Updated: Jan 4

Clean Water Flowing

Water pollution is a pressing issue that affects not only the environment but also our health. In New Jersey, there are several contaminants that can seep into our water sources and pose risks to human health. It is crucial for us to understand these contaminants and take necessary precautions to safeguard our health.

Here, we will discuss the top 5 water contaminants in New Jersey that you should be aware of:

Chlorine: is a chemical commonly used by water treatment plants to disinfect water and kill harmful bacteria. However, excessive exposure to chlorine can have adverse health effects. It can cause skin and eye irritation, respiratory problems, and even certain types of cancer. Individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma, may be more susceptible to chlorine's negative impact.

Lead: is a highly toxic metal that can enter the water supply through pipes and plumbing fixtures, especially in older homes. Even low levels of lead exposure can have serious health consequences, particularly in children. It can affect the development of the brain and nervous system, leading to learning disabilities, decreased IQ, and behavioral problems. Pregnant women who are exposed to lead can also pass it on to their unborn babies.

Pesticides: are chemicals used to control pests and boost crop production. However, when these chemicals are used in excessive amounts or improperly, they can contaminate the groundwater and pose significant risks to human health. Prolonged exposure to pesticides has been linked to various health problems, including cancer, reproductive issues, and developmental abnormalities in children.

PFAS: known as "forever chemicals" for their persistence in the environment and body, pose potential health risks like liver damage and cancer, making regular water testing crucial.

Bacteria and viruses: can enter the water supply through various sources, including inadequate waste management, human and animal waste, and contaminated groundwater. Consuming contaminated water can lead to gastrointestinal illnesses, respiratory infections, and other health issues. It is crucial to ensure that water is properly treated to eliminate harmful bacteria and viruses.

Water Treatment Solutions

Now that we are aware of the top water contaminants in New Jersey, it's important to explore the available water treatment solutions to ensure the safety of our drinking water.

1. Filtration systems

Installing a filtration system in your home can help remove impurities and contaminants from tap water. There are various types of filtration systems available, such as carbon filters, reverse osmosis, and UV filters. Depending on your needs and budget, you can choose a filtration system that effectively targets specific contaminants.

2. Boiling water

Boiling water is a simple and effective way to kill most bacteria and viruses present. However, boiling water does not remove all contaminants, such as heavy metals or chemicals. It is best used as a supplement to other water treatment methods.

3. Water testing

Regular water testing is crucial to identify the presence of contaminants in your water supply. You can either opt for home testing kits or hire a professional water testing service. This will help you determine the level of contamination and take appropriate actions to address it.

4. Point-of-use water filters

Point-of-use water filters, such as faucet-mounted or pitcher filters, provide an additional layer of protection by removing contaminants at the specific point of use. These filters are convenient and affordable options for individuals who are concerned about the quality of their drinking water.

5. Public water treatment facilities

Public water treatment facilities play a significant role in ensuring the safety of the water supplied to our homes. It is important to stay informed about the water treatment processes followed by your local water authority. If you have any concerns or doubts, you can reach out to them for more information.

Water quality issues

In addition to specific water contaminants, there are broader water quality issues that can affect the overall safety of drinking water in New Jersey.

1. Aging infrastructure

New Jersey, like many other states, faces the challenge of aging water infrastructure. Older pipes and plumbing systems can contribute to lead contamination and other issues. Efforts are ongoing to upgrade and replace these systems, but it is important to be aware of the potential risks in the meantime.

2. Runoff and pollution

Contaminants can enter water sources through runoff from agricultural areas, industrial sites, and urban areas. This runoff can carry fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, and other pollutants, impacting the water quality and posing risks to human health. Implementing proper storm water management and reducing pollution sources are essential in addressing this issue.

3. Environmental changes

Climate change and shifts in weather patterns can have indirect impacts on water quality. Increased rainfall and extreme weather events can lead to flooding and water contamination. It is crucial to have proper monitoring systems and emergency response plans in place to address these challenges effectively.

4. Groundwater contamination

Groundwater contamination is a significant concern, particularly in areas where private wells are the primary source of drinking water. It is essential for homeowners with private wells to regularly test their water for contaminants and take appropriate actions to safeguard their health.

Understanding the risks associated with water contaminants is the first step towards safeguarding our health. By being aware of the top 5 water contaminants in New Jersey and implementing appropriate water treatment solutions, we can ensure the safety of our drinking water. It's also crucial to address broader water quality issues, such as aging infrastructure and pollution, to protect our water sources for current and future generations.

Remember, access to clean and safe water is a shared responsibility, and by taking proactive measures, we can contribute to a healthier environment and a healthier community.

Need to have your water tested? Agra has been testing water for homeowners and businesses for 25 years. Contact us today: 973-989-0010, or e-mail:

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