Report: Contamination in Ringwood could threaten the Wanaque Reservoir

Report: Contamination in Ringwood could threaten the Wanaque Reservoir.
David Zimmer/ High levels of a dangerous chemical at the Ringwood Superfund site are a potential threat to the nearby Wanaque Reservoir, the major source of drinking water for the region, according to a new report for the state commission that oversees the water supply.
The pollution needs to be treated to ensure it doesn’t migrate to the reservoir — just a mile away — and contaminate the drinking water that serves as many as 3.5 million people, the report said.
Subsequent tests found 1,4-dioxane in groundwater throughout the Superfund site — as high as 215 times the state safety standard of 0.4 micrograms per liter.
But since the treatment plant is incapable of removing 1,4-dioxane, the chemical “will impact the finished water quality” if it migrates that far.
Story continues below Treating the groundwater at its presumed source, Peters Mine, "should ensure that contaminants do not migrate downgradient and impact the water supply,” the report reads.
“Data indicates that the Wanaque has not been impacted by site contamination and is not expected to be impacted by site contamination in the future,” Rodriguez said in an email.
The second test came last March, when commission officials ordered tests after reports in The Record showed the chemical was found throughout the Superfund site near the reservoir.
The chemical was not detected at the intake of the reservoir’s treatment plant and the distribution system after the water is treated.
Environmental officials have said there is no imminent health threat from the levels of 1,4-dioxane that were detected, but there is still no clear consensus on how much of the chemical can be in drinking water before it makes anyone ill.

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