A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Assessments of Aberdeen Township Water Quality

Aberdeen Township residents should have received the 2010 Consumer Confidence Report on drinking water in the mail this week. It is a very brief assessment meant to assure the public that our drinking water is carefully monitored and found to be safe as of last year. It is full of acronyms, charts, big words and small print.

If you probe the document looking for the quick answer, your eyes will naturally gravitate to the VIOLATION column and be comforted to see NO, NO, NO down the line. Most residents probably look at that and toss the report in the trash. Others might wonder about the health risks from trihalomethane and other byproducts of the use of disinfectants to kill microbial contaminants in our water. Still others might wonder why OBMUA has its own separate list and why barium is on theirs and not ours if we're using their water.

The bottom of the page is the least reassuring part of the mailing. The Township refers the public to NJ SWAP for more information, but that website is full of old if detailed reports about our water sources. New Jersey's Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP) website provides its August 2004 summary assessment, for example, which says Aberdeen purchases its water from three municipalities - Matawan, Old Bridge, and Keyport. As of 2010, Aberdeen was obtaining its water only from Old Bridge Township MUA. SWAP's Source Water Assessment Report for Aberdeen is highly detailed (52 pages) but also nearly 7 years old (December 2004). I'm sure their numerous water assessment appendices are still useful but also outdated. I was most concerned to see our Water Department quoting SWAP's 7 year old findings, not to mention how shocked I was at how vague the findings were: We have a low to high susceptibility rating for this water system. That pretty much covers the choices now doesn't it?

Aberdeen's Water Department should attempt to update the information at NJ SWAP and offer the public a more detailed printed assessment of our water supply either online or upon request.


  1. Do you think the town would send out a bad report ?

  2. Bad meaning a poorly produced report or bad meaning poor quality water buried in a favorable report? I'm not ready to suggest anyone's hiding anything. Are you? I'm saying that people should read the fine print and check the sources the summary relies on. I wasn't pleased to learn that the summary relies in part on detailed reports at the state level that are outdated.