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December 9, 2004

Contact: Fred Mumford
(609) 984-1795

New Drinking Water Supply Needed Due to Gasoline Contamination in Private Wells

(04/140) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today proposed a $1.2 million waterline project to bring safe drinking water to the Wildwood Terrace neighborhood in Ringwood Borough where ground water is contaminated with the gasoline additives MTBE and TBA.

“Providing safe drinking water will bring some needed peace of mind to the residents of this Ringwood neighborhood,” said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. “When companies liable for pollution don’t take action, the state will step up to the plate to protect public health.”

“Ringwood Borough residents have been aware of the pollution in their ground water supplies for some time,” said Commissioner Campbell. “Hooking up residents whose wells are at risk to the municipal water supply brings needed relief and protection.”

DEP determined that connection to a public water supply system is the most reliable and cost-effective method to supply drinking water to the Wildwood Terrace neighborhood. Under an agreement with DEP, Ringwood Borough will hire the design and construction contractors for the waterline work using state funding. The estimated cost is $1,228,362.

To determine the water line project area, DEP mapped the extent of contaminated potable wells. Using the area of currently known contamination and ground water flow direction, DEP targeted 81 lots of which 69 use wells as a potable supply. The remaining properties are undeveloped or already hooked up to a public water line.

Ground water contamination initially was found in the Wildwood Terrace neighborhood in June 2004 during private well testing performed by the owner of the nearby Skyline Service Station. The main contaminants found in private wells in residences and in ground water monitor wells at the Skyline Service Station site were Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) and Tertiary Butyl Alcohol (TBA).

A recently completed DEP water supply analysis for the Wildwood Terrace neighborhood considered three alternatives: installation of deeper wells, long-term use of Point-of-Entry Treatment (POETs) systems and connection to a public water system. The three alternative water supplies were evaluated to determine their feasibility, reliability and cost. The installation of deeper wells was not considered to be a feasible alternative due to the likelihood of future recontamination of the wells. Both the use of POETs and the connection to public water were considered to be feasible alternatives, but the POET option had an estimated cost of more than $2 million.

The waterline alternative calls for installing service connections and sealing potable wells in the project area. The nearest waterlines are located on Skyline Drive and Oakwood Drive. The water line would need to be extended along all of Oakwood Drive and Wildwood Drive.

Confirmed contamination exceeding the state’s drinking water standard was found in four private wells during testing by the owner of Skyline Service Station this summer and fall as well as contamination below the standards in numerous other wells in the project area. To address the immediate drinking water needs of those residents with contaminated wells above the standards, the owner of Skyline Service Station installed POET systems to remove the contamination from the well water.

The drinking water Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for MTBE is 70 parts per billion (ppb) and 100 ppb for TBA.

DEP also will work to ensure that a remedial investigation and any required cleanup work are completed for the Skyline Service Station to protect the area ground water supply.



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