In an effort to improve our understanding of groundwater quality in our region, the Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) has introduced a discount-rate well water testing program for area residents.
The program began in April 2014, with 37 Harding Township well owners taking part. In exchange for a low-cost suite of tests, each participant agreed to let GSWA record their results and combine them all into a database for further analysis.
As we explored trends across our new well-water database, we learned that concentrations of lead and copper most often exceeded New Jersey standards. Rather than signaling a problem with groundwater supplies, these findings most likely indicated problems with individual household infrastructure.
Given the popularity of last April’s program, we will be offering discount well testing again beginning on April 1, 2015. Once again, we will be partnering with Kemmerer Library Harding Township (KLHT) to facilitate the distribution and return of testing kits; however, instead of restricting participation to Harding Township residents, the program will be
open to every household in the Great Swamp region that receives water from a private well. If you are interested in participating, please read on!
The suite of well-water tests* GSWA offers examine several different water quality parameters. They include measurements of total coliform and E. coli, nitrates, manganese, iron, arsenic, and lead. Again, anyone with a private well is eligible to participate provided they are able to comply with the testing regimen described below. Participants are required to pick up a home water-sampling kit from KLHT—located at 19 Blue Mill Road in New Vernon, NJ—between April 1 and April 29 during the library’s regular business hours (see HardingLibrary.org for a complete schedule).
When you receive your self-guided kit, you will be asked to leave a $10 security deposit covering the cost of sampling supplies. Your kit MUST be used to sample your well water at home on the morning of Thursday, April 30, and all samples MUST be returned to KLHT between 8 a.m. and noon the same day. (Note: Some tests are time sensitive. Water samples not complying with the timetable above may not return reliable test results.)
Our basic, multi-parameter testing suite will cost $125, which is payable—less your security deposit—when you return your samples. (The same suite of tests would normally cost an individual homeowner more than $300.) Tests for additional water-quality parameters may be purchased for an additional charge. Please write to me, Kelly Martin, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at (973) 538-3500 x19 for more details.
*Important: These tests cannot be used to satisfy the requirements of a real estate transaction.