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Ridgewood Water Seeking to Sue Companies Behind Chemical Contamination of the Water Supply


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  Ridgewood Water is seeking to identify the companies behind the chemical contamination of its water supply know as PFAS .

PFAS do not occur naturally, but are widespread and extremely persistent in the environment. They are man-made chemicals that have been used to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food and other materials (e.g., cookware) resistant to water, grease or stains. They are also used for firefighting at airfields and in a number of industrial processes.

While Ridgewood Water is working to identify specific sources, and has retained a California-based law firm to potentially sue over the expensive costs of meeting new state and federal water quality standards.

In late 2017, NJDEP notified Ridgewood Water of its plans to set a guidance value for PFOA, we voluntarily followed their recommended actions in preparation for the announcement.  This included testing all treatment plants in the system for a suite of 14 PFAS compounds, including PFOA, PFOS and PFNA.  Results indicate that low-levels of PFOA are widespread in the system, with 24 of 25 tested treatment plants measuring levels above the proposed NJDEP guidance value.

After the report was issued Ridgewood Water took the following actions:

Shut down the Carr Treatment Plant, which had the greatest potential to introduce PFAS compounds into the system. A treatment system using granular activated carbon (GAC), a technology proven to effectively reduce PFAS compound levels, is anticipated to be complete by summer 2019, pending award of the construction contract in fall 2018.   Evaluating alternate treatment methods, in an effort to reduce installation and maintenance costs related to future treatment.   Monitoring quarterly to identify levels, and assess plants that should be targeted for future treatment investments.   Following the science to determine likely PFAS sources, and potentially responsible parties who should be working to help address the levels.  Communicating with wholesale providers about their PFAS levels and collaborating on solutions for treatment.  Continuing to report levels and actions being taken to NJDEP and our customers.

There home filters that work to reduce PFOS and PFOS levels.Results from multiple rounds of testing by Ridgewood Water measured levels well below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) health advisory levels for PFOA/PFOS.

To further reduce levels of PFOA and PFOS, NSF International has certified certain home use drinking water treatment units that reduce PFOA and PFOS below the health advisory.  For a list of NSF International-certified products, please consult the links below:

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