Salem, NJ- Salem County’s five municipal public community water systems each tests well below the federal standards for lead, according to data reported to the state and compiled by the Salem County Department of Health and Human Services. New Jersey follows federal regulatory requirements.
These systems serve the river communities from Oldmans to Salem, as well as Woodstown, Elmer Borough and small segments of Pilesgrove, Quinton, Elsinboro, and Mannington (including Mannington Mills, Memorial Hospital.)
E.I. DuPont Chambers Works, which operates a “non-community water system” to provide employees with drinking water, also tests well below federal standards.
Four of the systems in Salem County were tested in 2012 and 2015; one system was tested in 2011 and 2014. DuPont’s non-community system was tested in 2012 and 2015.
Community System Name
Lead monitoring schedule
Lead Action level
Salem Water Department
2015 -0 ug/L
2012 -0 ug/L
NJ American Water
Penns Grove and parts of Oldmans /Carneys Point
2015 – 0 ug/L
2012 – 2.0 ug/L
Pennsville Twp. Water Dept.
2014 -2.1 ug/L
2011 -2.9 ug/L
Elmer Boro W Dept.
2015 –3.8 ug/L
2012 – 5.7 ug/L
Woodstown Water Department
2015 -4.2 ug/L
2012 -1.2 ug/L
E I DuPont Chambers Works
Non-community system (only serves DuPont employees)
2015 – 1.3 ug/L
2012 – 1.5 ug/L
“This information, which is available on the NJDEP website, is consolidated here by the County to help Salem County residents become more informed about drinking water quality,” said Freeholder Bob Vanderslice, Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee.
The five municipal water systems and the DuPont water system historically have tested with low lead levels, so they are required to test the drinking water from the distribution system every three years, in accordance with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regulations. The testing to determine lead levels follows strict state requirements, which includes testing at the faucets of residences selected, submitted, and approved by NJDEP.
“This means that utilities must ensure that water from the taps used for human consumption do not exceed the 15 microgram per liter level in at least 90 percent of the sites sampled — a 90th percentile result,” explained County Health Officer Annmarie Ruiz.
The “action level” for community and non-community water systems is 15 ug/L – or, 15 micrograms per liter. Reaching this level of lead in the water triggers mandated remedial action, increasing water testing to twice a year, and contacting all customers. NJDEP requires companies to inform all customers about the lead levels in the drinking water and the impacts it can have on health and how to reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water.
“Systems are required to meet the requirements of the NJ Safe Drinking Water Act and the National Safe Drinking Water Regulation. New Jersey follows the federal regulations,” said Ruiz.
On-Line Data Access
The public can easily access drinking water quality data by going to the NJDEP website to view all results for public water systems, including test dates and results for all contaminants such as total coliform bacteria, nitrate, volatile organics, and inorganics.
Go to http://www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply and then click on “Drinking Water Watch.” Then type in the water system name or ID#. (The ID number and system names are provided in this release in the chart above.) A drop down menu will give you analytical results for various contaminants. To find out the maximum contaminant standards, there is a link at the bottom of the web page. You can also search small community systems such as mobile home parks and for non-community systems, which includes places such as schools, day cares, restaurants, youth camps, campgrounds, and larger businesses.
Public water systems listed on the NJDEP Water Watch site are designated as either “with treatment” or “after treatment” for lead contaminates.
The NJDEP database does not include test results for private and non-public wells due to confidentiality rules in the Private Well Testing Act.
The County can provide geographic data, broken down by town, on contamination in wells. Private wells are required to be tested when a home is being sold or a new well is installed. The County’s Department of Health and Human Services records any reports that exceed state contamination standards. The NJ Ground Water Quality Standard limits lead contamination to 5 micrograms per liter, which is lower than the federal community and non-community water systems standards.
This data is available on the NJDEP website by going to http://www.nj.gov/dep/dsr/pwta/Index.htm. Results from private wells represent raw water data – before or without treatment – because that is required by the Private Well Testing Act.
The results for lead levels in private wells appear below. The data is from 2015. If a private well exceeds state limits, a filtration treatment system can correct the lead levels.
Number of Wells that exceeded 5 micrograms, Salem County 2015
Private Well Testing Act
Exceeds 5 micrograms
Total wells tested
Lower Alloway Cr.
For residents who would like to test their water, they can contact their water provider or a water analysis or water treatment company. Contact information for public water supply companies is on the NJDEP website and in the reports, the companies send to their consumers.