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Problems We Found With Jersey City Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 12:10 pm -0400

Emma Schultz M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor
**Updated June 15, 2020 to include data from the most recent Jersey City Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). 

To determine problems with drinking water in Jersey City, our Water Nerds use data from the Jersey City Water System, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. We use these data to cross reference with toxicity studies in the scientific and medical literature. The water filters that we build for our Jersey City customers are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Jersey City Drinking Water

Jersey City’s drinking water comes from two surface water locations: the Jersey City Reservoir in Boonton, and the Split Rock Reservoir in Rockaway Township. Jersey City drinking water is treated at the Jersey City Water Treatment Plant in Boonton. Supplementary water may be briefly supplied by the City of Newark, the Passaic Valley Water Commission, or the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission.

Lead In Jersey City Drinking Water

Lead can enter Jersey City drinking water when water comes into contact with older lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail, such as the country witnessed in Flint, Michigan, lead leaches into the drinking water and reaches toxic levels. Recent sampling for lead in Jersey City found a 90th percentile concentration of 4.13 parts per billion. While these concentrations fall below the Federal Action Level, the EPACDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all agree that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead. Additionally, federal regulations cannot possibly take into account levels measured at an individual tap, especially if your home has plumbing that contains lead

Chromium 6 In Jersey City Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a hazardous metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA. Jersey City tap water recently averaged 90 parts per trillion for chromium 6. This average level is over 3 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk. It's important to point out that the last timeJersey City tested for chromium 6 was in 2015, so this concentration might not be representative of the current chromium 6 levels in Jersey City tap water. 

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Jersey City Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants interact with naturally-occurring organic matter such as twigs and leaves. These chemicals are not well regulated, but EPA has acknowledged their association with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. EPA regulates two categories of DBPs: Haloacetic Acids 5 (HAA5) and Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs). The concentrations of TTHMs average 66.16 parts per billion, with concentrations reaching as high as 82.46 parts per billion. For a bit of perspective, the federal EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for TTHMs is 80 parts per billion. 

Chlorine In Jersey City Tap Water

As is common practice in municipalities across the United States, Jersey City adds chlorine to its water to protect consumers from waterborne illness. While not considered acutely harmful, many consumers find that they prefer the taste of their water when chlorine is removed. When your tap water is filtered, we believe you will notice an immediate taste improvement.

Still Have Questions About Jersey City's Drinking Water Quality?

Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a category of emerging contaminants. They have been detected in a growing number of municipalities across the United States. Most cities are not required to test for or remove PFAS from drinking water, including Jersey City. Not all water filters are designed to remove PFAS from tap water.

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each city’s water. The chemicals that we list above are what we consider to be “points of emphasis” so we can build the best water filter for Jersey City tap water, but all of our custom water filters provide broad protection against other contaminants commonly found in drinking water (e.g. VOCs, heavy metals [including lead], pharmaceuticals, solvents, pesticides, mercury).

If you’re interested in learning more about New Jersey's water quality or about water filters that have been optimized for Jersey City tap water, feel free to visit www.hydroviv.com, reach out by email (hello@hydroviv.com) or through our live chat. We also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook.

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