A well that tests positive for total coliform bacteria but negative for fecal coliform or
coli should be retested, although not required, to further assure the absence of these bacteria. The NJDEP recommends annual testing of these wells.
The Private Well Testing Act and implementing regulations require testing for four primary inorganics: nitrate, arsenic, mercury and lead. Testing for nitrate and lead is required for the entire state, while testing for arsenic is limited to 10 Northern New Jersey counties (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, and Union). Testing for mercury is limited to nine Southern New Jersey counties (Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Monmouth, Ocean, and Salem).
Sources - Nitrate and its reduced form nitrite are found in ground water due to a number of factors including natural deposition, runoff from fertilizer use, leaching from septic tanks, and from sewage.
Counties that Sampled - All counties were required to sample for nitrate.
MCL - The MCL for nitrate is 10 mg/l. If nitrate is present in drinking water at levels above the MCL, it can cause blue-baby syndrome in infants below the age of six months. The symptoms include shortness of breath and, if untreated, it can lead to death.
Number of Wells that were above the MCL for Nitrate - A total of 1,399 wells
%) of the 51,028 wells tested had concentrations of nitrate above the MCL (see Figure 4). Two counties had very high rates of exceedances: Cumberland (11%) and Salem (9%). These data are presented by county in Appendix F.
Range of Concentrations - The concentration of nitrate ranged from 0 to 153 mg/l.
Source - Arsenic can leach into ground water from the erosion of natural deposits of arsenic, from past use as a pesticide, and from waste from glass or electronics
In New Jersey, it is known that wells
Physiographic Province in the northern levels of naturally occurring arsenic.
drilled into the Piedmont Jersey can contain high