(i.e., lot, block, etc.) described in the regulations. The data file is e-mailed to a database at NJDEP, which is designed to store all of the PWTA test results.
What if contaminants are found?
If the results indicate that one or more analytical standards have been exceeded, then the PWTA database automatically forwards an electronic copy of the well test results and well information to the appropriate county or local health authority within five business days of receiving the results from the laboratory. A well test “failure” is defined as any result that exceeds a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for primary drinking water standards or a recommended upper limit (RUL) for secondary drinking water standards with the two exceptions noted above (i.e., lead and arsenic). Laboratories are also required to directly notify the county or local health authority of well test failures for nitrate and fecal coliform or E. coli because they are considered acute contaminants and may pose immediate health concerns.
Once the local health authority is notified electronically by NJDEP or directly by the laboratory, the health authorities may (but are not required to) notify property owners within the vicinity of the failing well. However, because these individual tests are considered confidential, the exact location of the well test failure cannot be identified.
Limitations of the data
Several factors may affect the measurement and quality of the data collected as part of
the PWTA and utilized in this report. transport, laboratory analysis, accuracy
These factors of related well
include sample collection and location information, and data
entry and reporting. Any of these unwarranted test failure or approval.
factors, if handled improperly, Since no state agency has the
could result in an ability to verify that
been reported to NJDEP, the absence of results, along with errors or mistakes reported data, could have a significant impact on the evaluation and interpretation data presented. The following identifies some key issues concerning PWTA data:
Sample Collection and Transport - Samples collected often yield contaminated or questionable test results. currently suspects that collection of lead samples from
or transported improperly For example, the NJDEP unflushed water tanks or
spigots may be the primary reason reported. Analysis and Data Reporting - The
why many elevated lead results
PWTA Program testing data are
electronically and control or quality
are automatically entered
into the database assumed that the
without any quality certified laboratory
properly relies on
met all required protocols the reporting laboratory to
and the data are catch and correct
accurate. The any data entry
3. Collection of well location information - Without accurate well location information, the analytical results cannot be properly correlated to the well, thereby-hindering