Reduced Well Water Testing For MO Residents

Reduced Well Water Testing For MO Residents

The Mt. Olive Township Environmental Commission and the Raritan Headwaters Association (RHA) are sponsoring reduced-cost well water testing for Mt. Olive residents.

If a household water comes from a private well, it is not tested by any state or local authority. The homeowner is responsible for the quality of well water. Mt. Olive residents may have their well water tested for coliform bacteria and nitrates for $60. Test kits for other contaminants, such as lead, arsenic and radon, are available for additional cost. Each test kit comes with easy-to-follow instructions and all required containers.

Test kits may be purchased on Sat., May 14, between 9 a.m. and noon at the Mt. Olive Municipal Building. Payment is by check only.

The water samples must be dropped off at the municipal building on Mon., May 16 between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. The RHA will ensure that all the samples reach a state-certified laboratory later that day for testing. Test results are communicated directly to the residents. If pollutants are detected, the RHA will provide information so that well owners can address the problems and make their water safe for consumption.

Nationally, nearly half of all people get their water from groundwater sources. Approximately 80 percent of people living in the Raritan Headwaters region rely on groundwater. The EPA and NJ DEP both recommend that private wells be tested annually for coliform and nitrates.

Both human-caused and naturally occurring contaminants are often found in private wells. Nitrates and bacteria, which can lead to immediate and serious health conditions, may be found in well water as a result of a poorly performing septic system or a nearby agricultural source. Two naturally occurring elements, arsenic and radon, are also commonly found in well water in northwestern New Jersey. Scientific studies associate long-term exposure to arsenic and radon with cancer and other health effects. Lead may be present in drinking water if there is lead-based solder in pipes or lead components in well pumps. The lead is leached by corrosive water. Lead can cause physical or mental development problems in infants and children.

For more information, contact Margaret Logreira of RHA at 908-234-1852, ext. 401 or at Visit the RHA website for demonstrations of proper well water sampling techniques (

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