SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – A statement has been issued by the township which indicates that the most recent drinking water sample taken by the East Orange Water Commission (EOWC) at its White Oak Ridge pumping station contained a level of contaminants in excess of the allowable state standards. The sample was collected on Sept. 30, and the township was notified by the EOWC on Oct. 11.

While New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Department of Health have both advised that the violation does not pose an immediate risk to public health, the township has taken steps to increase the safety of the water supply.  EOWC has been instructed to open the interconnections between its system and that of New Jersey American Water as well as the city of Newark's water system. This will dilute the supply reaching homes from EOWC and bring the level of tetrachloroethylene down to an acceptable level.

The township has also announced that the Board of Trustees will be taking action by the end of the month to select a new supplier of water for Village residents.

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Here is the Village statement in its entirety:

On Friday, October 11, 2013, Village officials were first notified that a water sample taken on September 30, 2013 by the East Orange Water Commission (EOWC) at its White Oak Ridge pumping station revealed a tetrachloroethylene level of 1.8 ppb, which is an exceedance of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) standard.  The results of that test were not reported earlier by EOWC’s testing laboratory. 

Although NJDEP has advised the Village that the reported exceedance does NOT constitute an immediate threat to public health, it has authorized the opening of interconnections in South Orange with the New Jersey American Water and City of Newark water systems to minimize the flow of water from the EOWC well field.  The Village has previously issued a Notice of Default to EOWC with respect to its failure to meet its obligations under the Agreement with South Orange to supply water and manage the South Orange water system.  Since issuance of the Notice of Default, Village officials have been actively engaged in discussions with potential alternate suppliers of water for Village residents. 

This latest exceedance further supports the issuance of the Notice of Default. Residents can expect action by the Trustees with respect to the selection of an alternate water source before October 31, 2013.  Further developments will be promptly posted on the Village web site.

What you need to know:

·      A just reported September 30, 2013 test of EOWC water revealed a tetrachloroethylene level of 1.8 ppb, in excess of the NJDEP standard.

·      NJDEP and New Jersey Department of Health have advised South Orange that there is no immediate health concern for residents.

·      To dilute the source water, and thereby reduce the tetrachloroethylene level, NJDEP has authorized  EOWC to open interconnections and obtain water from outside systems

·       This matter will be publicly discussed at the Board of Trustees meeting scheduled for 8:00 p.m., Thursday, October 17, 2013, immediately following an Executive Session which starts at 7:30 p.m.  That meeting will be held on the Main Stage at SOPAC, 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ.