Currently private wells are not regulated by the federal or state Safe
Drinking Water Acts. Approximately 400,000 residents of New Jersey (13 %) use private
wells as a source of their drinking water.
In March 2001, the New Jersey Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) was signed into law, and
its regulations became effective in September 2002. The PWTA is a consumer information
law that requires sellers (or buyers) of property with wells in NJ to test the
untreated ground water for a variety of water quality parameters, including 32 of
human health concern, and to review the test results prior to closing of title.
Landlords are also required to test their well water once every five years and to
provide each tenant with a copy of the test results. The test data is submitted
electronically by the test laboratories to the NJ Department of Environmental
Protection for retention, notifying health departments of water quality issues,
and statewide analysis of ground water quality.
Approximately 25% of the wells in the State have been tested under this program.
The Department would like to encourage other homeowners to test their wells for the
important parameters in their local. Several maps were created from the data, and
are intended to provide information to homeowners about potential risks in their