Drinking Water Programs
The Cumberland County Health Department is responsible for ensuring that wells installed within our jurisdiction meet the applicable state codes and local ordinances. Well drillers are specially licensed by the State and work very diligently to ensure that their licenses do not get challenged therefore we rarely see mistakes. We first review all of the well permit applications to determine compliance with the codes and then occasionally preform field inspections of the installations. While we do not inspect every well that gets installed, we will spot check the work of all the well drillers working in our jurisdiction. Additionally, all newly constructed homes with septic systems will have the setback distances checked in the field to ensure compliance with the state codes.
Once your well is installed the water supply will need to be tested. Some well drillers will include the water testing in their pricing, other will not but ultimately the homeowner will be responsible for getting it done. All required water testing must be completed in accordance with the procedures and parameters outlined in the Private Well Testing Act which can be found in the link below.
If you are just getting a replacement well you will only need to get the water tested and provide those test results to our office. If you need to get a Certificate of Occupancy from your township because you are selling your home or building a new home, you will need to get the water test certified by our office. In order for us to certify the water test, the test must show that all of the parameters fall below the State standards. This may mean that you need to have your water treated.
Our office provides walk-in water test certifications Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 9:30am or from 3:30pm to 4:30pm. Electronic copies of water tests can be sent to our office from the state certified laboratories via email at firstname.lastname@example.org . An additional email from the water test certification requester is required so that we will know when you intend on picking up the documentation.
Private Well Testing Act
PWTA is a State regulation and program that began in 2001. The regulation is what requires all real estate transactions and rental properties to undergo water testing. The water testing results are then provided to the tenants or new home buyers so that they are aware of any potential contaminants in their water supply that may affect their health. Once the certified lab confirms the water test results, the results are electronically submitted to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection where they are compiled into an ongoing study that evaluates the water concerns throughout the State of New Jersey. The complete results of the study can be found on the PWTA website. Once the NJDEP receives the water test results, they forward the results to the local health departments.
Once our office receives the test, we evaluate it for contaminates that are not commonly found in our area. High levels of gross alpha particles and nitrates are common in Cumberland County as are low levels of pH. If we identify a contaminant that is uncommon in Cumberland County such as a Volatile Organic Compound, we notify residents living in close proximity to the well that their well may also have a contamination issue and advise them to have their water tested by a certified laboratory.
Safe Drinking Water Act
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is another state regulation and program that focuses on ensuring the quality of drinking water in New Jersey. While the PWTA focuses on private water supplies, the SDWA focuses on public or shared water supplies. The SDWA program is primarily administered through the NJDEP however a small portion of the program has been delegated to some county health departments. Our office focuses on water supplies that are known a public non community water systems (PNCWS). A PNCWS can be a system that regularly serves at least 25 of the same persons for more than six months in any given calendar year which is known as a non-transient system. These types of systems are usually large office buildings, schools, or daycares. A PNCWS can also be a system that serves at least 25 transient individuals for at least 60 days in any given calendar year which is known as a transient system. These types of systems are usually small office buildings, restaurants, and special event facilities. Both types of systems have designated testing requirements laid out by the NJDEP that the facilities must adhere to. The NJDEP and county health departments monitor the tests closely to ensure that the facilities are not providing their employees or customers with contaminated water.
State of New Jersey Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) Website
Listing files in 'Drinking Water Programs'