Drinking water: 1.5 million in NJ served by a utility that has failed testing since Flint

The data shows that water utilities in the Garden State have racked up at least 226 contamination violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act since Flint became synonymous with tainted tap water and put other water systems under a spotlight.
The state’s largest city, Newark, acknowledged last month that the treatment program it was deploying to stop lead from leaching into drinking water in the city was "no longer effective," according to NJ.com.
But the health-based violations elsewhere in the state mostly swirl around excessive levels of bacteria or, ironically, inordinate amounts of disinfectants meant to cleanse the water of biological contaminants.
“Most of the violations that you see are coliform testing and disinfection byproducts," said Anthony Matarazzo, director of water quality for New Jersey American Water, the state’s largest private provider.
Explore the map below to see which water utilities were cited for delivering tainted water.
Three months later the system was considered "compliant" again with the arsenic rule.
The Safe Drinking Water Act is a federal law passed in 1974 that sets standards on drinking water supplies in America.
EPA data shows there have been nearly 34,000 contamination violations of the SDWA — impacting the water delivered to 1 in 8 Americans — across the country since April 2014, when the city of Flint started drawing water from the Flint River.
Another 3,800 major monitoring violations of the SDWA were rolled up in New Jersey since Flint, meaning that these utilities were failing to properly test for dangerous manmade and naturally occurring chemicals or to document those procedures.
"If you don’t do that not only are you going to fall off meeting your current goals but you’ll be less able to meet new challenges when you do identify them.” Russ Zimmer: 732-557-5748, razimmer@app.com, @russzimmer

Learn More