Pinelands surface and aquifer water quality is both determined changed by many factors including:


climate and weather (The weather of New Jersey is considered temperate with an average of 45 inches of precipitation annually)


plants and animals

Physical and chemical characteristics of Pinelands water limit the variety of aquatic life include:

acidic nature

considerable amounts of iron

low amounts of alkaline metals and oxygen

natural organic compounds resulting in its tea-colored stream water

The Cohansey Aquifer, containing 17 trillion gallons of mostly uncontaminated fresh water, lies beneath the Pinelands surface. Careful maintenance of the quality and quantity of this water resource is important to the well-being of the people, animals and plants in the region.

The Cohansey Aquifer is highly susceptible to pollution because of the sandy, porous nature of the soil. Water passing through this sand formation has been compared to water filtering through a bucket of marbles. Water passes through the soil rapidly reaching the water table. Therefore, local sources of pollution can pass quickly into an aquifer locally then spread out with time despoiling larger and larger portions of the aquifer. Sources of pollution may include:

septic tanks


chemical spills and storage leaks


agricultural chemicals

highway de-icing

industrial waste

A lowering of the Pinelands water table, through drought or over pumping, could severely alter the Pinelands life by depriving it of the groundwater it needs.

A lowering of the Pinelands water table will increase the probability of salt water invasion (intrusion).