Some residents living in the Pines Lake section of town were notified that drinking water in a well near some of their properties contains elevated levels of Trichloroethene, or TCE.
The Passaic County Department of Health (DOH) notified residents last month that high levels of TCE were found in a private well. The letter was mailed to homeowners within 1,000 feet of the property.
TCE is a volatile organic compound found in printing inks, adhesives, and rug cleaners.
The DOH is recommending that well owners in the affected area have their wells tested for VOCs.
Keith Furlong, public information officer with the county, said the high level of TCE were discovered due to a homeowner testing his well because he is selling his property.
If in the process of selling their homes something like this is discovered the homeowner is required to let the county health department know.
“If it turns out to be more than just one home we’ll become more active and the Department of Environmental Protection will get involved,” Furlong said. “The Health Department recommends that wells get tested ever year. We’re taking calls and answering questions about it.”
Residents who do not use a well “are not impacted” by the elevated TCE level, the letter states.
“Residents that do not have a private well and obtain their drinking water from a municipal water utility are not impacted,” the letter states.
Homeowners are responsible for paying to have their wells tested, not the DOH.
Pompton Lakes residents said at a council meeting this week that they believe the contamination is coming from Pompton Lake. The eastern part of the lake borders the Pines Lake neighborhood. DuPont is being held responsible for allowing mercury, lead, and copper to seep into the lake for years. The company used to have an explosives factory on the site.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered DuPont to remove 100,000 cubic yards of sediment form the lake. DuPont has appealed the plan.
Adolph Everette, chief of the hazardous waste programs branch for the EPA’s region two section.
“There’s no evidence there is contamination on that side of the lake,” Everette said. “We know there’s contamination on the western shore but as far as anything on the eastern shore, there’s no there’s no reason to think that there is contamination from that site impacting that side of the lake.”