Well-Water Test Kits Available
The Delaware Township Environmental Commission and the Raritan Headwaters Association (RHA) are co-sponsoring a community well-testing program for homeowners to test their drinking water for chemical and biological contaminants at a reduced cost. If your household water comes from a private well, it is not tested by any state or local authority. You are responsible for the quality of your well water.
Water test kits are available for purchase on Wednesday, September 20th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm and on Saturday, September 21st from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Delaware Township Municipal Building.
Sample containers and completed paperwork must be returned to the Township Department of Public Works Garage (816 Sergeantsville Rd.) on Monday, September 25th between 7:00 am and 9:30 am.
You can pre-order your well test kit on line at www.TestMyWell.org so the kit will be ready when you come to pick it up. You can pay by credit card online when pre-ordering your test kit or pay by check (no cash) when you pick your kit up.
While many of us know our blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels, do you know the levels of coliform bacteria, arsenic, and other contaminants in your drinking water? When was the last time you had your well water tested? If your family gets its drinking water from a private well, how do you know that the water is safe to drink? Unlike public drinking water systems, private wells are not checked for contamination before the water is sent to the tap. Households that use private wells must take special precautions to ensure the safety of their drinking water supplies.
Safe drinking water is essential to good health, and testing well water at a certified lab is the only way to know whether water from a private well is safe. Testing your well water for chemical and biological contamination is important since many contaminants can be harmful, even though they are tasteless and odorless. Both human-caused and naturally occurring contaminants are often found in private wells. Nitrates and bacteria, which can lead to immediate and serious health conditions, may be found in well water as a result of a poorly performing septic system or a nearby agricultural source. Two naturally occurring elements, arsenic, and radon, are also commonly found in well water in northwestern New Jersey. Scientific studies associate long-term exposure to arsenic and radon with cancer and other health effects.
Public health authorities recommend annual testing. If your well has not been tested for several years, now is the time to test. You can sample your well water as part of this year’s Community Well Testing Program.
Residents may have their drinking water tested for coliform bacteria and nitrates for $70. Additional testing options are available. Please see “What Should I Test My Well Water For?” (Environmental Commission page; “Environmental Commission Links” button near the bottom of the page) for a complete listing of the available tests and the associated prices. If you need help in deciding what to test for, please contact RHA Well Testing Office at (908) 234-1852 ext. 401.
Note: While all water samples are analyzed by a certified laboratory, be advised that since you are collecting the water samples yourself, the sample results cannot be used to satisfy the Private Well Testing Act if you are selling or renting your home. The sample results from the Community Well Testing Program should be used for your informational purpose to assess your drinking water quality.
Therefore, if you are selling or renting your home and need to obtain sample results for the Private Well Testing Act, you should engage the services of a certified laboratory for both sample collection and analysis. Please see www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply/pw_pwta.html and click on the “List of New Jersey Certified Laboratories” for a complete listing of Certified Drinking Water Laboratories.