March 2, 2020


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Newark’s efforts to bring its water supply up to federal and state compliance levels has had an expected and important side-benefit: Bloomfield Township has reported that its water safety has reached nearly 100 percent with federal and state guidelines, with full compliance anticipated by June or July of this year.

Like other communities north and northwest of Newark, Bloomfield draws its water supply from Newark’s Pequannock Watershed in West Milford, New Jersey, which also serves as Camp Watershed, providing residents with hiking, hunting, fishing, fall overnight camps, and summer youth day camps.

In the most recent test taken late last year, over 90% of 65 Bloomfield faucets sampled had less than 12 parts per billion of lead. The EPA standard for lead content is 15 ppb. Additionally, traces of disinfectant byproducts were well within acceptable limits established by the state Department of Environmental Protection and Environmental Protection Agency.

Since 2017, Bloomfield has been testing water at its three interconnection stations monthly, as well as testing water at established sampling points for disinfection byproducts.

But Bloomfield is not the only community that relies on Newark water. Belleville and Pequannock have also reported similar reductions. Pequannock also receives its water from Newark, and has improved its levels.

Water and Sewer Utilities Director Kareem Adeem explained, “We have turned a new page in our efforts to improve water quality. On May 7, 2019, an orthophosphate facility came on line in the Pequannock System. On July 7, we did treatment modifications to reduce HAA5 and THMs in the water that goes to all four communities. As the City of Newark continues to monitor and upgrade its treatment plants, we continue to improve the quality of water for all of our residents and bulk water customers.”

Progress continues on lead service line replacement, Director Adeem noted, with more than 7,700 lines replaced, with an average of 95 to 100 new lines a day. “We’ve had no complaints,” he added. However, crews have found some odd artifacts in the digging – antique bottles from as far back as the 1860s.

“Residents are calling in to say they’re happy and that the water pressure is better. They see the progress and are pleased with our pro-active and transparent progress,” Director Adeem added.

- David H. Lippman, Newark News