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Bloomingdale Borough Regional Ground Water Contamination

Bloomingdale Borough, Passaic County
PI #: 190358

Site Update
As of April 13, 2005


Groundwater contamination was found in the Upper Morse Lake area of Bloomingdale Borough, Passaic County as a result of the sampling of a private well for the resale of a property. Sampling conducted by the local health department and other residents identified a total of eight wells with confirmed contamination above safe drinking water standards. The case was transferred to the NJDEP’s Office of Wellfield Remediation (OWR) as an Immediate Environmental Concern (IEC) case in April of 2003.

NJDEP conducted two rounds of samples in order to obtain data from wells in the area that were not sampled by the property owners. These sample events occurred on August 13, 2003 and October 23, 2003 during which a total of twenty wells were sampled. Ninety-nine samples were taken from fifty-six wells sampled by homeowners and the Department, of which nineteen wells have confirmed contamination exceeding drinking water standards. The main contaminant of concern is Tetrachloroethylene (also known as perchloroethylene, or PCE), which has a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 1 part per billion (ppb). The highest concentration of PCE found in these wells was 8.6 ppb. The source of the PCE contamination is unknown. Other contaminants were detected but were below the MCLs and are not considered contaminants of concern.

To address the immediate drinking water needs of those residents with contaminated wells, the Department’s Environmental Claims Administration (ECA) funded the installation of Point-of-Entry Treatment (POET) systems through the POET Program. Currently, eighteen POET units have been installed which were funded through the ECA.


OWR conducted an investigation to determine the most cost effective water supply solution. Planning an alternate water supply requires that the scope of the water supply project area be delineated. The Department delineated this area by encompassing all the contaminated wells that are within a 1000-foot radius of 4 other wells with confirmed contamination. The area delineated is referred to as the Currently Known Extent (CKE) area. The CKE area includes all the contaminated wells along with wells that were not tested or tested below the MCLs but are within the delineated area.

In the Upper Morse Lake area of the Bloomingdale Groundwater Contamination case, a CKE Project area was delineated to include a total of thirty-nine lots, all of which are developed. Seventeen wells have confirmed contamination , while three have only one sample showing a single exceedance of the MCLs. Two of the wells with confirmed contamination are outside of the CKE and will be handled individually.


Three long-term water supplies were considered as a replacement water supply for the existing homes in the CKE Project area. The alternatives evaluated included:


This alternative evaluates the installation of deeper wells to replace the wells in the CKE Project area. The geology of this area was considered to evaluate the feasibility and reliability of deeper wells. Due to the geology in the area there are no confining layers that would stop the vertical migration of the contamination. In addition, the fractured rock aquifer can be highly influenced by pumping of wells. Contamination can be pulled through the fractured rock and may result in deeper wells drawing the contamination further in the aquifer and contaminating new deeper wells. For this reason the installation of deeper wells is not considered a reliable alternative and was not evaluated any further.


This alternative evaluates the use of a POET system to treat all the water entering a home. The alternative involves the installation of treatment systems and the long term monitoring and maintenance of the POETs. The contaminant found in the Upper Morse Lake area of Bloomingdale Borough is a volatile organic chemical that can be removed using granular activated carbon (GAC) POETs.

To calculate the cost of this alternative, it is assumed that POET units will be installed in all homes in the CKE at the start of the project. It should be noted that in actual practice a POET would only be installed if the well has confirmed contamination that exceeds the MCLs. This alternative assumes the POET systems will be installed and maintained for a twenty-year period. Yearly routine maintenance and monitoring includes one raw water sample, four treated water samples, one GAC tank replacement, four prefilters replacements and one service call.


This alternative evaluates the cost and feasibility of servicing the homes in the CKE Project area with public water. This alternative considers the cost of extending a water line in the CKE Project area, installing service connections, and sealing the potable wells.

The nearest water line is located outside of the CKE area on Natalie Court. The water line would need to be extended to the end of Natalie Court and west on Overlook Road into the CKE area. Once the water line is in the CKE project area it would be extended west on Overlook Road to the intersection of Ridge Road. The water line would also be extended along portions of Sunset Road, Sycamore Road, Highland Road and Ridge Road that are south of Overlook Road. Of the 39 building lots included in the CKE Project area 39 are developed lots and would require a service connection and well sealing.


Three alternative water supplies were evaluated to determine their feasibility, reliability and cost. The alternatives considered were the installation of deeper wells, the long-term use of POETs and the connection to a public water system. 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. The chart below summarizes the alternatives, which were reviewed for the Bloomingdale Borough CKE Project area.


2. POETS YES YES $784,070
3. WATER YES YES $709,410

Based on the potable well data and the assumptions made in this report, the most reliable and cost effective water supply alternative for the Bloomingdale Borough CKE Project area would be Alternative #3, the connection to the public water supply system. The cost of this alternative is estimated to be $709,410.

For further information please contact Mark Herzberg, Community Relations Coordinator, at (609) 633-1369 or Andrew Sites, Case Manager, at (609) 777-0724.


Inactive OCR Site

Please be advised that these cases labeled by OCR as inactive may still be undergoing remedial activities but OCR has no involvement. Documents that are available on this page associated with the inactive list may not reflect the current status of a case.

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