NJ American Water
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$2.5M Treatment Upgrade to Delaware River Regional Water Treatment Plant Completed

Advanced treatment process will treat 1,4-dioxane compound

New Jersey American Water celebrated its recent $2.5 million investment in the Delaware River Regional Water Treatment Plant. Treatment process upgrades included the installation of Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOP) to properly treat 1,4-dioxane, a soon-to-be regulated compound found in source water.

In February 2020, routine New Jersey American Water testing in the Delaware River led to the discovery of 1,4-dioxane, an unregulated synthetic chemical. While it is unlikely to pose an acute health risk in the detected amount, it was not previously found in the river. The discovery prompted New Jersey American Water, in consultation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), the Delaware River Basin Commission, and other agencies, to conduct additional sampling to determine potential compound sources and inform an appropriate response. New Jersey American Water also initiated a treatment design plan for the Delaware River Regional Water Treatment Plant at that time.

“The Delaware River Regional Water Treatment Plant is a source of water for thousands of people living in New Jersey, and the upgrades to our treatment processes help ensure we continue to provide safe, clean water service,” said Mark McDonough, president, New Jersey American Water. “As the state’s largest water provider and a backup supplier for many additional systems when needs arise, it is imperative that New Jersey American Water invests in the appropriate technology and treatment when we anticipate guidelines are being developed. We are proud to continue proactively investing in the safety and quality of our water service for residents across the state.”

Federal and New Jersey drinking water standards do not yet include a drinking water standard for 1,4-dioxane. While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established a monitoring reference level, it does not require regulatory action if the reference level is exceeded. The NJ DEP began the process of setting a state regulation for 1,4-dioxane in drinking water in 2021 at approximately 0.33 parts per billion but has not yet formalized this standard.

1,4-dioxane enters the environment in contaminated soils and wastewater discharges that may mix into surface water and enter drinking water utilities that utilize surface water and/or groundwater. In addition to facility treatment upgrades, water quality experts at the Delaware River Regional Water Treatment Plant continue to consistently sample the facility’s surface water supply for detectable levels of 1,4-dioxane.

The Delaware River Regional Water Treatment Plant produces more than 40 million gallons of water per day for hundreds of thousands of residents in the company’s Burlington, Camden and Gloucester County service areas.

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