& General Requirements
What does the Private Well Testing Act, N.J.S.A.
58:12A-26 et seq. (PWTA) require?
A1: The Act requires that, when
property with certain types of drinking
water wells is sold or leased, the well
water must be tested for contaminants.
The results of the water testing must be
reviewed by both the buyer and seller,
or in the case of a leased property, by
What types of properties are subject to the testing
The Act covers SALES of two types of properties,
and LEASES of other properties. Testing is required
for the following:
of any property that gets its drinking water
from a private well located on the property, and
of any property that gets its drinking water
from a well that has less than 15 service
connections or that does not regularly serve
an average of at least 25 people daily at
least 60 days out of each year.
of any property that gets its drinking water
from a private well that isn't required to
be tested under to any other State law.
When in the real-estate sales process does testing
have to happen? When the contract is signed?
At the closing? What about rentals?
A3: The Act requires the following:
- Every contract
of sale for a property subject to the
Act must include a provision requiring
the testing as a condition of the sale.
- A closing of
the title of sale on a real property that
is subject to the Act may not occur unless
both the buyer and seller have received and
reviewed a copy of the water test results,
and have signed a paper certifying that they
have received and reviewed a copy of the
time a rental property subject to the Act
is leased, a written copy of the most
recent test results must be given to the
When do the testing requirements take effect?
A4: Every contract of sale executed
on or after the effective date of the statute,
September 14, 2002 for property subject
to the Private Well Testing Act is required
to meet the testing requirements. Testing
is not required for real estate transactions
that were already under contract before
the statute went into effect (September
14, 2002). The testing requirement for
leased properties must be completed by
March 14, 2004, and at least once every
five years thereafter.
testing is not required under the law for real
estate transactions under contract prior to September
14, 2002, the DEP recommends that well water
be tested once a year or in connection with a
real estate sale. This testing provides important
water quality information that people and their
families should know.
Additionally, the Statewide testing requirement for arsenic and gross alpha particle activity took effect on September 4, 2018, and testing requirements for uranium became effective for more Counties on September 4, 2018. The testing requirement for 1,2,3-trichloropropane (1,2,3-TCP), ethylene dibromide (EDB) and 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP) took effect on March 3, 2019. The testing requirement for perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) will take effect for closings that occur on or after December 1, 2021.
How much will the testing cost?
A5: Laboratories testing rates vary depending on how hard it is to collect the sample, the location of the property in relation to the lab, and other factors. The DEP estimates that the average price will be between $750 and $950. Additional costs may be incurred based on whether it is necessary to run field blank analysis to verify that contaminants have not been inadvertently introduced into the sample.
What will happen if the testing is not done?
Will the property sale be void?
Testing of your well water is important to your
family's health. If testing is not done, you
and your family may face a health risk and not
know it. You may also be subject to enforcement
My property has public water for drinking, and
also an on-site well used only for other purposes
such as lawn watering. Does that well have to
A7: No. Only drinking water wells
are subject. See FAQ
Does the testing requirement apply to drinking
water wells at newly constructed residences?
A8: Yes, if the property is being
sold or leased.
What contaminants must the well water be tested
A9: That depends on where you live. All wells must be tested for the following contaminants: total coliform bacteria, iron, manganese, pH, all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with established Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs), nitrate, arsenic, 48-hour rapid gross alpha particle activity, lead, 1,2,3-trichloropropane (1,2,3-TCP), ethylene dibromide (EDB), 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP). If total coliform bacteria are detected, a test must also be conducted for E. coli. Starting December 1, 2021, all wells must also be tested for perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). Private wells located in certain counties will also have to test for uranium and mercury. Click here for a table showing all contaminants that must be tested.
My county also requires testing of private wells.
Which set of regulations do I follow: The county's
or the State of New Jersey's?
Both the county and state requirements must be
met. If there is an overlap between the two,
the more stringent of the two regulations will
govern. Please check with your local health authority
or municipal office for further information.
When did the PWTA requirement for testing of wells for 1,2,3-trichloropropane, ethylene dibromide and 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane go into effect?
This testing was required for real estate closings that occurred on or after March 3, 2019.
When did the statewide testing requirement take effect for arsenic in private wells?
This sampling requirement took effect on September 4, 2018.
When does the testing requirement go into effect for real estate transactions for perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)?
Testing is required for real estate closings that will occur on or after December 1, 2021.
& Analysis of Samples
Who must collect the sample? May I do it myself?
A1: The sample must be collected
by either an employee of a certified drinking
water laboratory certified to collect PWTA
samples; or by an authorized representative
of such a laboratory. See the PWTA rules
7:9E-1.2 (pdf format) for definitions
of "certified laboratory" and "authorized
May a real estate agent collect water samples
a real estate agent is a NJ "certified laboratory," as
defined at N.J.A.C.
7:9E-1.2 (pdf format), an employee of a New
Jersey certified laboratory, or an "authorized
representative," as defined at N.J.A.C.
7:9E-1.2 (pdf format), the real estate agent
may take samples for all contaminants except
for pH. Samples for pH testing must be collected
by an employee of a laboratory that is certified
to test for pH, in accordance with N.J.A.C.
7:9E-1.2 (pdf format).
am a home inspector, and I hear that the PWTA
rules require submittal of Global Positioning
System (GPS) coordinates for the location of
each well. May I offer my customers GPS coordinate
collection service for pay?
Any person may collect GPS coordinates to be
used by a laboratory in submitting well test
results. Laboratories, realtors, home inspectors,
and surveyors are examples of professionals
who may choose to offer this service. However,
the coordinates must be collected in accordance
with the PWTA rules at N.J.A.C.
7:9E-3.1(a)1xi (pdf format) which refers
to the DEP's standard requirements for GPS
coordinates, found in the DEP Geographic Information
Systems (GIS) rules at N.J.A.C. 7:1D, Appendix
What kind of equipment do I need to meet the
Department's GPS Data collection standards? Does
the Department require or recommend certain brands
or receiver models?
The Department does not endorse nor recommend
certain brands or models for the collection of
GPS coordinates. However, only GPS equipment
that can meet the performance criteria of the
Department's GIS program is acceptable. A description
of the GPS
receiver requirements (pdf format) can be
found on the DEP's Private Well Testing Act website.
More detailed information on the Department's
GIS program can be found at www.state.nj.us/dep/gis.
I'm a reporting lab and want to report GPS data.
What are the correct units for reporting GPS?
Should these values contain a decimal point?
Labs should be reporting the coordinates in New
Jersey State Plane (survey) feet, referenced
to the NAD83 horizontal datum. A coordinate in
this system consists of an Easting (x) and a
Northing (y). Valid values within the state have
Eastings ranging from 192,000 to 660,000 and
Northings ranging from 34,000 to 920,000. There
is no need for decimals, as these values represent
integer feet on the ground. None of the required
GPS receivers (GIS types included) can accurately
measure to within a tenth of a foot.
The New Jersey State Plane Coordinate System
is not the same as the Universal Transverse Mercator
(UTM) system, which also uses the terms Eastings
and Northings. Be certain you are using the correct
Are latitude and longitude coordinates allowed
when reporting GPS coordinates? What if my GPS
unit records in latitude and longitude?
Labs should not be reporting GPS coordinates
in latitude and longitude, but rather only in
the NJ State Plane Coordinate System, in survey
feet units, referenced to the NAD83 datum (see
above question). However, if latitude & longitude
values are read from the GPS receiver's display
a conversion is necessary before reporting. Make
sure there are enough decimals when performing
the conversion. Here is what is needed for an
accurate conversion: Five (5) decimal places
for Decimal Degrees (DD.ddddd) gets a coordinate
to within 3 feet; three (3) decimal places for
Degrees Decimal Minutes (DD MM.mmm) gets a coordinate
to within 5 feet, and one (1)decimal place for
Degrees Minutes Decimal Seconds (DD MM SS.s)
gets a coordinate to within 9 feet.
4 decimal places are used for DD then the coordinate
might be only within 30 ft. Similarly, if 2 decimal
places are used for DDM then the coordinate might
be only within 50 ft, if 0 decimal places are
used for DMDS then the coordinate might be only
within 90 ft.
in other coordinate systems must be converted
to New Jersey State Plane coordinates. GPS receivers
designed for GIS data collection have the conversion
utilities available in the processing software
that comes with the receiver. There are also
conversion utilities (CORPSCON)
available on the worldwide web.
Where can I find a list of New Jersey certified
drinking water labs?
A7: Click here for
a list of certified drinking water laboratories
that conduct PWTA testing.
Who pays for the sampling and testing?
A8: When there is a sale of property,
the costs are negotiated between the buyer
and the seller. When property is leased,
the landlord must obtain and pay for the
testing and provide the results to the
Where in my house should the water sample be
collected? What if I have a water softener or
other treatment unit installed?
A9: The water sample must be collected
on untreated water. If the plumbing in
the building has a water softener, water
filter, or other treatment unit installed,
the sample must be collected before the
water goes through the unit. If there is
no treatment unit installed, the water
may be taken from any cold water, non-aerated
tap in the building.
Previously, I had testing done for other reasons.
May I use those test results to comply with the
PWTA? For example, may I use test results from
four months ago?
If the sample was collected and tested in accordance
with all the requirements of the PWTA rules at N.J.A.C.
7:9E (pdf format), the test results may be
used to comply with the law for one year after
the sample was collected, except for the coliform
results, which may be used for six months after
sample collection. Of course, if a new well were
installed, the test results from the old well
could not be used. See N.J.A.C.
7:9E (pdf format) for full details.
Can more than one laboratory be used for the
Yes, as long as all the laboratories are certified
by the NJDEP for the analysis of the particular
parameters in accordance with N.J.A.C.
7:18 (pdf format). It is important to note
that the party collecting the sample must be
certified by the DEP for the collection for those
PWTA parameters or the collector must be an authorized
representative of a certified laboratory. The
laboratories performing the analysis must be
certified by the DEP for the analysis of that
parameter. The list of laboratories certified
by the DEP for the collection and/or analyses
of PWTA parameters can be found here.
However, the PWTA rules at N.J.A.C.
7:9E-3.1(b) (pdf format) require that one
lab coordinate and submit all the PWTA results
to the DEP electronically.
May I test my well for additional parameters
not required in the PWTA rules?
Yes. The rules set minimum parameters. Anyone
is free to test for more contaminants. If you
choose to have additional tests, the DEP recommends
using a New
Jersey laboratory that is certified by the
DEP for the analysis of that parameter in drinking
What is a 48-hour rapid gross alpha test?
The 48-hour rapid gross alpha test identifies
the presence of gross alpha particle activity
in your well water. Alpha particles are emitted
during the decay of certain radioactive substances.
Gross Alpha particle activity includes radium,
uranium and thorium, but most of the gross alpha
radioactivity found in drinking water is from
radium. New Jersey has adopted a protocol that
requires the analysis of a gross alpha sample
with 48 hours of sample collection. The 48-hour
rapid gross alpha test includes the gross alpha
particle activity captured from radium-224, an
isotope with a half-life of 3.64 days, which
is not captured using the standard USEPA method.
In New Jersey, where is gross alpha particle
activity a concern?
While gross alpha can be found in most rocks
and soil in New Jersey, studies have shown that
elevated levels of naturally occurring radioactivity
appear mostly in southern New Jersey's Kirkwood-Cohansey
aquifer. The Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer is present
in all or parts of the following counties: Atlantic,
Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester,
Monmouth, Ocean and Salem Counties. Many of the
private wells located in these counties draw
from the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer.
Who is required to test for gross alpha particle
activity in New Jersey?
Private Wells in all counties are required to test for gross alpha particle activity, starting September 4, 2018.
How do I arrange for a 48-hour rapid gross alpha
There are currently several laboratories that
are certified by the DEP to analyze for the 48-hour
rapid gross alpha test. Although, most of the
labs certified for the 48-hour gross alpha test
are located outside New Jersey, arrangements
can be made to have samples shipped to one of
these labs for analysis. Many laboratories certified
for sampling and/or analysis for other PWTA parameters
can arrange to have one of these laboratories
conduct the gross alpha test analysis. View information regarding these and other certified
What counties need to sample for Uranium for compliance with the PWTA program?
Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren.
Test Results & Subsequent Actions (including
Will the lab tell me if my water is clean?
A1: The laboratory is required to
report the test results to the person who
requested the test, on a New
Jersey Private Well Water Test Reporting
Form (pdf format) provided by the DEP.
The reporting form will show how the well
water results compare with State and Federal
drinking water standards. For PWTA parameter
standards, click here (pdf
format). For all drinking water standards,
If the well water does not meet one or more of
the drinking water standards, does that mean
it's not safe to drink?
necessarily. Some of the standards are based
on aesthetics (secondary standards), while some
are based on long-term health effects (primary
standards). The fact that water tests above the
standard would not necessarily mean that the
water is unsafe to drink. For example, high levels
of iron (secondary standard) in the water are
generally not dangerous but do give the water
an unpleasant taste. On the other hand, the presence
of nitrates (primary standard) above the MCL
may cause a condition called blue baby syndrome
in infants. Learn more about New Jersey's PWTA
standards by clicking here (pdf
format) or the national drinking water standards
by clicking here.
the well water does not meet one or more of the
drinking water standards, can the property sale
be completed? Does the water have to be treated
before the property is sold or rented?
A3: The PWTA rules do not prohibit the sale of property if the water fails one or more drinking water standards. The rules mainly ensure that all parties to the real estate transaction know the facts about the well water so that they can make well-informed decisions. Of course, it is possible that mortgage companies or local health departments may require treatment of the water in some cases.
If a well fails to meet one or more of the standards,
who will pay to have the water treated?
The PWTA rules do not require treatment for well water that fails to meet standards. Therefore, if a well owner chooses to treat the water, they are responsible for paying for treatment, or for obtaining assistance in paying. In some cases the DEP or other government agencies may provide funding assistance for treatment for some types of drinking water contamination. The New
Jersey Private Well Water Test Reporting Form (pdf format),
upon which test results are reported, will include
information on any available assistance.
If a well fails to meet one or more of the standards,
will DEP make that information public?
No. The laboratory reports test results to the person who requested the testing, to the DEP, and to the local health authority. Both the DEP and the local health authority are required to keep the address of tested wells confidential. The laboratory will provide a copy of the test results on the New Jersey Private Well Test Reporting Form to the person who requested the testing. In addition, the laboratory reports the water test results to the DEP electronically. The DEP in turn notifies the local health authority of test results that exceeded the standards. If analysis shows an exceedance of an acute parameter, such as coliform or nitrates, the laboratory, which analyses the water sample, notifies the local health authority directly. In some situations, the local health authority has the discretion to notify the reported presence of a PWTA parameter in a private well to nearby well owners to test for the parameter of concern. Under the PWTA rules, the local health authority may not reveal the address or location of the impacted residence. Lastly, the DEP may provide general compilations of water test results data collected that may be identified by county and municipality or other appropriate areas of delineation.
What are the types of home drinking water treatment
devices available, and which are generally effective
for specific contaminants?
A6:Chemical Treatment: There are generally three major types of home drinking water treatment devices available to consumers for removing chemical contaminants. These treatment devices include filters, distillers, and softeners. Filters, such as carbon or reverse osmosis, use different kinds of media to filter out contaminants from drinking water as the water passes through it. Distillers use a process where the water is heated and subsequently cooled to remove contaminants. Water softeners utilize a process known as ion exchange to remove contaminants from drinking water. Ion exchange uses reciprocal transfer of contaminant ions between the drinking water and a resin or other solid media to remove a contaminant. These devices are capable of removing a variety of contaminants that may be found in drinking water, but individually they may not provide all of the necessary treatment for all contaminants of concern.
Microbiological Treatment: Microbiological treatment can be achieved either through disinfection or physical removal. For microbiological disinfection, treatment devices such as ultra violet light (UV) or Chlorinators may be effective. Reverse osmosis can also be used to effectively treat water with microbiological contamination.
more specific information regarding the effectiveness
of these treatment devices, we recommend visiting
the NSF International website.
NSF International is a non-profit organization
that provides information to consumers and ranks
drinking water treatment devices for their inherent
effectiveness for specific contaminants.
How do I interpret the 48-hour rapid gross alpha
A7: Gross alpha particle activity
in drinking water is measured in the standard
unit of picocuries per liter (pCi/l). The
State and Federal Maximum Contaminant Level
(MCL) standard for gross alpha particle
activity in drinking water is 15 pCi/l.
The 48-hour rapid gross alpha test does
require a second gross alpha particle activity
count to be conducted to determine if there
is an exceedance of the MCL only if the
first count is greater than 5 pCi/l. The
following illustrates the degree of significance
for gross alpha particle activity if detected
and what, if any, appropriate action is
testing results show that gross alpha particle
activity is greater than 15 pCi/l, then the
DEP recommends water treatment be installed
to reduce concentrations to below the standard.
testing results show gross alpha particle activity
is greater than 5 pCi/l, but less than 15 pCi,
then the NJDEP recommends testing for radium
226 and 228 (USEPA Method 903.0 and 904.0,
respectively). If this additional testing shows
that combined radium levels are above 5 pCi/l,
then water treatment is recommended to reduce
concentrations to below the standard.
testing results show gross alpha activity is
less than 5 pCi/l, no further action is recommended.
additional information concerning sampling and
analysis for gross alpha particle activity, please
contact the DEP's Office of Quality Assurance
at (609) 292-3950.
What can be done if gross alpha particle activity
is detected in my potable well water?
A8: Several measures can be taken
to reduce or eliminate radioactivity in
your drinking water. The following specific
options are recommended:
available, consider connecting to a municipal
a point-of-entry treatment device, such as
a water softener or ion exchange water treatment
system. These are considered cost effective
measures that can reduce the radioactivity
in drinking water. However, if you are treating
for the removal of Volatile Organic Compounds
(VOCs), the gross alpha particle activity should
be treated prior to the VOC treatment (see
a point-of-use water treatment device, such
as ion exchange or reverse osmosis system.
This can effectively treat the drinking water
at the tap for drinking and food preparation.
bottled water for drinking and food preparation.
However, consumers need to evaluate the long-term
cost of this measure.
either modifying your current well or possibly
drilling a new well to acquire water from a
deeper aquifer known to have either no or acceptable
levels of radioactivity.
water treatment devices, such as water softeners,
and ion exchange and reverse osmosis units, must
be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's
specification so they are continually effective.
Furthermore, after installing one of these water
treatment systems, it is recommended that you
conduct another gross alpha test to verify that
the installed treatment device is effectively
working and reducing radioactivity to a satisfactory
level. If you are currently using an activated
carbon system to treat your well water, it is
essential that you first treat for the removal
of gross alpha particle activity. This is to
prevent the accumulation of gross alpha particle
activity within the carbon bed of the treatment
device. Further information can be obtained by
contacting your local health office to determine
which type of treatment system may be appropriate
for your home. Click here.
If the well water does not meet one or more of the drinking water standards, what type of assistance from the State is available for treatment?
A9: Generally, homeowners are responsible for installation and maintenance costs that are incurred concerning their potable private well water. However, there are two state programs that may be available to homeowners for financial assistance if specific eligibility requirements are met.
The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) has a Potable Water Loan Program that is available to owners of single family residences whose source of potable water exceeds the State of New Jersey's Primary Drinking Water Standards. In addition, the loan program covers iron and manganese although these contaminants do not have Primary Drinking Water Standards. For further information, please contact the NJHMFA Hotline at 1-800-NJHOUSE (1-800-654-6873) or they may be reached at: P.O. Box 18550, 637 South Clinton Avenue, Trenton, N.J. 08650-2085 or on the web at: www.nj.gov/dca/hmfa.
The Spill Compensation Fund administered by Environmental Claims Administration within the Department offers help to innocent parties suffering from direct or indirect damages resulting from the human-caused discharge of a hazardous substance. There are specific eligibility requirements and guidelines for filing claims with the Spill Compensation Fund. For more information, please see the Processing of Damage Claims Pursuant to the Spill Compensation and Control Act rules, N.J.A.C. 7:1J (http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/rules/njac7_1j.pdf) for eligibility requirements or contact the NJDEP-Environmental Claims Administration at 609-984-2076 or visit its website at https://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/finance/eca.htm. You may write to the ECA: NJDEP-ECA/Spill Fund, Mail Code 401-06J, P.O. Box 420, 401 E. State Street, Trenton, N.J. 08625-0420.
Will the Spill Fund continue to pay for the operation and maintenance of treatment units previously installed if the property is sold to a new owner?
No. Beginning March 2, 2009, the Spill Fund Program will no longer pay for costs associated with an existing treatment unit, that originated from a Spill Fund Claim, after the ownership of the property is transferred to a new owner. Additional questions regarding this subject may be answered by contacting the Spill Fund Compensation Program at 609-777-0101.
What is the current effective Maximum Contaminant
Level (MCL) for Arsenic in potable well water?
The NJDEP adopted a new drinking standard (MCL)
to decrease long-term exposure to arsenic in
drinking water. The effective date of this new
MCL (5 ug/l or 5 ppb) was January 23, 2006, and
all New Jersey drinking water supplies were required
to comply with 5 ppb by January 23, 2006. This
new regulation will provide added protection
for all New Jersey residents.
My test results show a concentration for arsenic
in my potable well water between 5 ppb and
10 ppb. Should I be concerned?
Arsenic is a naturally occurring element found
mostly in the Piedmont
Region of New Jersey. It generally enters
potable well water in these areas through natural
processes. Arsenic may also have been released
into the environment through human activities,
such as smelting, arsenic pesticide use, and
other industrial processes.
PWTA regulations do not require homeowners to
test for arsenic nor to provide treatment if
arsenic levels are found to be above the MCL.
However, local or county health agencies may
require compliance with drinking water standards
(including arsenic), and homeowners are advised
to contact their local health agency. Arsenic
has been linked to several different adverse
health effects, such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular
disease, nervous system damage, skin disorders
and different forms of cancer. The DEP has developed
a fact sheet concerning arsenic in drinking water
that can be downloaded at the following webpage: https://www.nj.gov/dep/dsr/arsenic/guide.htm.
If you have additional questions concerning arsenic,
please call us at 609-292-5550.
What can I do to reduce my exposure to arsenic?
When arsenic is tested, the results are expressed as "total arsenic". Of this total arsenic, there are generally two types (species) of arsenic that are found in well water in New Jersey, arsenate (As+5) and arsenite (As+3). Even though both species can be found in New Jersey, the arsenate (As+5) species generally dominates. However, since there is no simple and affordable test commercially available to determine which species is present, it is best to assume both species are present so that arsenic can be effectively removed from potable well water by treatment. There are treatment systems available that will remove both arsenic species from potable water. The DEP has conducted research to determine the most efficient, cost effective, user-friendly treatment technologies currently available and the following provides a description of technologies.
Treatment for Removing Arsenic from Private
When choosing an arsenic treatment option, there are various criteria to be considered by the homeowner and treatment installer. There are several factors to consider when making this decision: the level of arsenic in your drinking water, other water quality characteristics which may require treatment (such as hardness, or the presence of other contaminants which may need to be removed), the effectiveness of the treatment option, and the cost to install the unit and maintain it. In some cases, it will be necessary to pre-treat the water so that the arsenic can be removed. A combination of two or more different types of treatment may be needed to address all water quality treatment concerns. Homeowners are encouraged to work with a reputable water treatment firm and obtain all required local permits. The following steps may be used as guidance for selecting the most appropriate arsenic treatment option for your home:
levels below 5 ug/l:
action is required because the water meets the
levels greater than the MCL (above 5 ug/l):
1: Install a POU device to remove arsenic from
the water at each faucet where water is used
for drinking and cooking.
2: Install a Point of Entry (POE) device to remove
arsenic from all the water in the home to ensure
that there is no exposure to arsenic via water
in the home.
easy to use and maintain. Less expensive
units needed - one for each faucet
used for drinking or cooking.
easy to use and maintain. Can remove other
remove As3. Multiple units needed - one
for each faucet used for drinking or cooking.
easy to use and maintain. Treats all water
in the home.
expensive start-up and maintenance costs
1 If POU treatment at the kitchen
sink is used, the kitchen tap should be the only
source of water used for drinking or cooking. If
water may be used for drinking in other rooms of
the home (e.g., at a bathroom sink), either a POU
unit should be installed at each potential drinking
water tap in the home, or a POE whole-house treatment
system should be used.
2 Adsorption includes treatment by materials that adsorb arsenic. The most effective adsorptive media that have been tested by NJDEP include granular ferric oxide, titanium, and hybrid media that contain iron-impregnated resin. These systems remove both As3 and As5 species. Arsenic water treatment research is continuing in New Jersey and around the globe. New arsenic treatment technologies may be developed in the years ahead. View the latest on arsenic water treatment.
3 Reverse osmosis is not effective
in removing all arsenic species. When arsenic is
tested, the results are expressed as "total
arsenic". Of this total arsenic, there are
generally two types (species) of arsenic that are
found in well water in New Jersey, arsenate (As5)
and arsenite (As3). Reverse osmosis is not effective
at removing As3 and there is no simple and affordable
test commercially available to determine which
arsenic species is present. However, a rule of
thumb has been developed for determining the presence
of As3 in New Jersey. A significant percentage
of the arsenic should be considered to be in the
As3 species if a well with an arsenic MCL exceedance
has any of the following: sulfur odor, iron greater
than 50 ug/L (0.05 mg/L), or manganese greater
than 50 ug/L (0.05 mg/L). If any of these conditions
are present, reverse osmosis should not be the
selected option for arsenic removal.
4 Point of Use (POU) System installation
typically costs less than $400 per unit with maintenance
costs at about $0.33 per day per unit. Point of
Entry (POE) System installation typically costs
around $3,000 with maintenance costs at about $1.00
per day. Costs have been estimated from an NJDEP
Cost Survey which was conducted in October 2003.
Costs may vary with time and market conditions.
Many companies are qualified to install water treatment
systems. We recommend that buyers shop around and
obtain references before selecting an installer.
The following treatments are not effective for
- Boiling water (this will increase
the arsenic concentration)
- Ultraviolet (UV) light
- Cation exchange (commonly
called a water softener)
- Granular activated carbon
- Air stripping
- Magnetic Water Conditioners
Treatment System Maintenance
A maintenance plan
provided by a water treatment professional should
be a serious consideration when dealing with arsenic
treatment. Because you can’t see, smell,
or taste arsenic in your water, it is very important
that your system be monitored and maintained as
recommended. View additional guidance on selecting an
arsenic treatment system
What is the current effective MCL for 1,2,3-Trichloropropane in potable well water?
0.030 micrograms per liter (µg/L).
What is the current effective MCL for Ethylene dibromide (EDB) in potable well water?
0.05 micrograms per liter (µg/L).
What is the current effective MCL for 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP) in potable well water?
0.2 micrograms per liter (µg/L).
Q17: What is the current effective MCL for perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) in potable well water?
A17: 0.013 micrograms per liter (µg/L)
Q18: What is the current effective MCL for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in potable well water?
A18: 0.014 micrograms per liter (µg/L)
Q19: What is the current effective MCL for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in potable well water?
A19: 0.013 micrograms per liter (µg/L)
Q20: Where can I find more information on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)?
A20: The DEP has a website with more information and resources on PFAS in drinking water here.
Water Definitions & Concepts
What are the meanings of the terms MCL, Action
Level, and recommended limit regarding Safe
MCL, or Maximum Contaminant Level, means
the maximum permissible level of a primary
contaminant that is allowed in drinking water
in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water
Act and corresponding regulations.
levels mean the concentrations of certain
primary contaminants (i.e., lead and copper)
in drinking water at which treatment requirements
may be initiated by the Federal Safe Drinking
upper limit means the optimum range for secondary
contaminants (i.e., iron, manganese and pH)
in accordance with the New Jersey State Drinking
Some of literature refers to point-of-entry
(POE) and point-of-use (POU) treatment, what
is the difference?
Point-of-entry (POE) devices are installed
where the water supply enters the home. POE
treatment devices consist of equipment applied
to water entering the house or building for
the purpose of reducing contaminants in all
water distributed throughout the house or building. Point-of-use
(POU) devices are installed at the tap
and can be used to effectively remove contaminants
from the water at the tap only. A POU water
treatment device is a device or equipment used
for the purpose of reducing contaminants in
water at a single tap.