Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) is partnering with Kemmerer Library once again to offer discounted home water testing to our local communities for both well and public water. “This program is a win-win because homeowners are able to have their water tested by a certified NJ laboratory at a discounted rate, and in exchange, homeowners allow GSWA to analyze the results and create a data base of groundwater conditions in the area,” said Sandra LaVigne, Director of Water Quality Programs at GSWA.  

With the advent of the Flint water crises and the concerns with contaminated aquifers from fracking and other dumping, many people are hesitant to utilize their home tap water for drinking.  In the state of New Jersey homeowners with private wells are responsible for ensuring the quality of their own drinking water.  Even those who get their water from public utilities need to be concerned with contaminates such as lead and copper which can leach into the water from old pipes after it leaves the facilities.  These concerns lead to a higher usage of bottled water which in turn puts more plastics in our environment and, depending on the source of the bottled water, puts an undue strain on other aquifers and springs which depletes these resources for their local communities. 

GSWA began offering discounted home water testing to in 2014.  It was determined that the two most common exceedances found locally each year were lead and copper, which could lead to serious health issues. It was also concluded that these exceedances were most likely the result of old plumbing and pipe fixtures, versus an indicator of groundwater issues.

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“Public water authorities are required to stringently sample and test their water before it leaves their facilities to be delivered, via pipes, to the public. However, they are not responsible for the health of the water once it enters a residence,” LaVigne stated. GSWA strongly encourages public water residents to participate in a package designed for them, which will check for issues that develop in the pipes, such as lead leaching.  GSWA is also expanding the program geographically.  “In May we will offer the same program to communities further downstream along the Passaic River in Long Hill and the Summit areas,” said LaVigne. Visit GreatSwamp.org for further information on the downstream expansion of the “Test the Tap” program.

Anyone interested in taking advantage of the discounted testing program at the Kemmerer Library may pick up a sample kit during regular business hours between today and April 9. A $10 deposit is required when picking up the self-guided water sampling kit.  Samples must be collected on the morning of April 10 and returned to the Kemmerer Library between 8 AM and noon on the same day. (Note: Water samples that do not follow specific timetable requirements may not return reliable test results.)

The cost for the basic well water package, multi-parameter test is $125 (regular price is over $300). The cost for the basic public water package, multi parameter test is $45 (regular price is over $85).  Test add-ons may be purchased for an additional charge. For additional details, please call GSWA at 973-538-3500. This test cannot be used to satisfy the requirements of a real estate transaction.