Home > Uncategorized > At Least 50 NJ Schools, Public Water Supply Systems, Healthcare Facilities, Developments, And Daycare Centers Violate Drinking Water Standards For “Forever Chemicals”

At Least 50 NJ Schools, Public Water Supply Systems, Healthcare Facilities, Developments, And Daycare Centers Violate Drinking Water Standards For “Forever Chemicals”

DEP Does Not Mandate Installation Of Available Treatment To Remove These Chemicals

Contamination Is Far More Widespread Than Reported By Media 

Children Are Particularly Vulnerable To Toxic Chemicals

NJ DEP recently adopted stringent new drinking water standards for a family of toxic chemicals with the acronyms PFOA, PFNA, and PFOS, collectively commonly known as “forever chemicals” because they do not breakdown in the natural environment.

For those who like to get into the weeds, you can read the science and DEP regulatory documents that explain everything about the science and health risks of these chemicals, see:

NJ Drinking Water Quality Institute Science and Recommendations to DEP

 NJ DEP regulatory documents:

The new DEP drinking water standards, expressed in parts per trillion are as follows: PFOA 14; PFOS 13 and PFNA 13.

NJ Spotlight recently reported on a huge controversy related to violations of these new standards at just one water system, the Middlesex Water:

However, I knew that violations were far more prevalent, so I filed a public records request to DEP for the first rounds of data submitted by NJ drinking water systems, specifically for DEP enforcement actions against those system that were not complying with the new drinking water standards. These drinking water systems include public water systems, private water companies, schools, daycares, healthcares, developments, and various private facilities.

In presenting the DEP enforcement data below, I selected the highest value cited by DEP enforcement documents.

Data are reported in parts per trillion.

DEP allows a “rolling average” method, so reporting and interpreting this information is complex. DEP also cited many of these facilities for failure to report the violations.

DEP allows the facilities 1 year to explain how they will come into compliance with the standard.

DEP does not issue enforcement fines or penalties at this stage of the process.

DEP allows “blending” with other clean water sources to reduce the concentration below the drinking water standard (a violation of the fundamental principle: “dilution is not the solution to pollution”).

DEP does not mandate that commercially available treatment systems be installed immediately to remove these chemicals.

I asked DEP a series of questions about these enforcement “notices of noncompliance” and will report back if they respond. I was particularly concerned about how DEP is providing information to schools and parents.

NJ Spotlight failed to report these violations and DEP has so far kept mum about them as well.

I tried to give DEP a heads up that they are risking another Kiddie College scandal if they don’t openly engage the public. For those who don’t recall that scandal, see this NY Times story, which I broke:

Almost all values are as high or higher than those found in Middlesex Water reported by NJ Spotlight.

Based DEP enforcement documents, here’s what I found.

SCHOOLS:  (11)

1) Ridge and Valley Charter School (Blairstown)     –  130 PFOS (10 times DEP standard)

2) Maple Road Elementary School (West Milford) – 34 PFOS

3) Sandshore School (Flanders) – 34  PFOS, 25 PFOA

4) Bethlehem Township BOA – 38 PFOS

5) Dickerson Elementary School (Chester).  – 40 PFOS, 29 PFOA

6) Hardyston Township Elementary School. – 44 PFOS

7) Bear Tavern Elementary (Hopewell). – 23 PFNA

8) Timberlane Middle School (Hopewell) – 21 PFNA

9) South Hunterdon Regional  – 51 PFNA

10) Delaware Valley Regional 21 PFNA

11) Katherine D. Mallone School — 21 PFNA


1) Passaic Valley Water Commission   – 54 PFOS

2) Waldwick Water Department –  84 PFOS – 27 PFOA

3) Hopatcong Water Department – 28 PFOS  , 22 PFOA

4) Essex Fells Water Department –  31 PFOA

5) Livingston Township Water Department.  – 24 PFOA

6) Middlesex Water – 36 PFOA

7) Ridgewood Water – 31 PFOA

8) Upper Greenwood Lake – 150 PFOA, 45 PFOS

9) Oakland Water Department –  – 28 PFOS – 22 PFOA

10) Roxbury Township Water –   59 PFOA

11) Verona Water Department – 35 PFOA

12) Hawthorne Water Department — 27 PFOA , 24 PFOS

13) National Park Water – 18 PFNA

14) Bellmawr Water Department – 29 PFNA

15) Gloucester City Water Department – 23 PFNA

16) Woodbury City Water – 61 PFNA

17) Garfield Water Department – 37 PFOA, PFOS


1) Jin-A-Child Care Center (Clifton). – 44 PFOA


There were an additional 20 hospitals, rehabilitation centers, churches, private developments, golf courses, marinas, and other unknown operations cited by DEP for violations of the new drinking water standards.

The highest values I found were in Sussex County Homestead Rehabilitation, which had 280 for PFOS  and 260 at Delila Terrace MHP in Egg Harbor Township. 

I will provide all these data and DEP enforcement documents upon request.

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