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Community Relations Community Relations Site List Pohatcong Valley Ground Water Contamination


Pohatcong Valley Ground Water Contamination

Route 643 to Route 31
Washington Township, Warren County
PI #: G000005662

BLOCK: Various LOT: Various

Community Relations Coordinator: Mark Herzberg (609) 633-1369

As of 28 June 2004

The Kittatinny Limestone Aquifer, which serves as the sole source of potable water for private wells and municipal wells in the Pohatcong Valley, is contaminated by volatile organic compounds from an unknown source. The site encompasses portions of Franklin Township, Washington Township and Washington Borough. The contamination was discovered in the late 1970s, when high levels of tetrachloroethylene (also known as perchloroethylene, or PCE) were detected in two local public supply wells. One of the supply wells was closed and a carbon filtration system was installed on the other to remove the contaminants from the water. In the mid-1980s, the Warren County Health Department determined that private potable wells at 79 properties in the region were contaminated with volatile organic compounds. These properties were connected to the public water supply system in 1988. The following year, USEPA added the Pohatcong Valley Ground Water Contamination to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites (NPL). USEPA is conducting a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) to delineate the contamination, evaluate cleanup alternatives and identify possible sources. The field work for the RI/FS began in 1999 and has entailed installing ground water monitor wells and temporary well points, sampling private wells at off-site properties, and conducting soil sampling, soil gas surveys, aquifer testing and a geological survey. The RI/FS includes evaluation of ten potential source areas. Sampling of potable wells at approximately 30 residences did not reveal any additional wells that are contaminated at levels exceeding Drinking Water Standards. USEPA will use the findings of the RI/FS to select the final remedial actions to address the contamination, which will be outlined in a Record of Decision (ROD) for the site.


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