Important Information About Your Drinking Water

Park Ridge Water Department Has Levels of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) Above A Drinking Water Standard 

Our water system violated a New Jersey drinking water standard, and as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation. You were previously notified of the PFOA maximum contaminant level (MCL) violation in public notice issued on June 16, 2022. Per the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, we will continue to provide you with an updated public notice every 3 months until we complete all approved remedial measures and return to compliance with the MCL. 

We routinely monitor for the presence of federal and state regulated drinking water contaminants. New Jersey adopted a standard, or maximum contaminant level (MCL), for PFOA in 2020 and monitoring began in 2021. The MCL for PFOA is 0.014 micrograms per liter (μg/L) and is based on a running annual average (RAA), in which the four most recent quarters of monitoring data are averaged. On November 23, 2021, we received notice that the sample(s) collected on November 10, 2021, showed that our system exceeds the PFOA MCL at 3 of our treatment plants. The RAA for PFOA based on samples collected over the last year at each of the three locations range from 0.0145 μg/L to 0.0177 μg/L, and are summarized below. 

Sample Date 

TP013030 

TP015034 

TP020044 

RAA 

RAA 

RAA 

11/10/2021 

0.0177 μg/L 

0.0145 μg/L 

0.0173 μg/L 

See “What is being done?” on the next page. 

What is PFOA? 

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a member of the group of chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), used as a processing aid in the manufacture of fluoropolymers used in non-stick cookware and other products, as well as other commercial and industrial uses, based on its resistance to harsh chemicals and high temperatures. PFOA has also been used in aqueous film-forming foams for firefighting and training, and it is found in consumer products such as stain-resistant coatings for upholstery and carpets, water-resistant outdoor clothing, and greaseproof food packaging. Major sources of PFOA in drinking water include discharge from industrial facilities where it was made or used and the release of aqueous film-forming foam. Although the use of PFOA has decreased substantially, contamination is expected to continue indefinitely because it is extremely persistent in the environment and is soluble and mobile in water. 

What does this mean? 

*People who drink water containing PFOA in excess of the MCL over time could experience problems with their blood serum cholesterol levels, liver, kidney, immune system, or, in males, the reproductive system. Drinking water containing PFOA in excess of the MCL over time may also increase the risk of testicular and kidney cancer. For females, drinking water containing PFOA in excess of the MCL over time may cause developmental delays in a fetus and/or an infant. Some of these developmental effects may persist through childhood. 

* For specific health information, see https://www.nj.gov/health/ceohs/documents/pfas_drinking%20water.pdf

NJDEP, PFOA PN – MCL Exceedance (CWS&NTNC), 10/1/2021 

What should I do? 

  • If you have specific health concerns, a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant, or are elderly, you may be at higher risk than other individuals and should seek advice from your health care providers about drinking this water.
  • The New Jersey Department of Health advises that infant formula and other beverages for infants, such as juice, should be prepared with bottled water when PFOA is elevated in drinking water.
  • Pregnant, nursing, and women considering having children may choose to use bottled water for drinking and cooking to reduce exposure to PFOA.
  • Other people may also choose to use bottled water for drinking and cooking to reduce exposure to PFOA or a home water filter that is certified to reduce levels of PFOA. Home water treatment devices are available that can reduce levels of PFOA. For more specific information regarding the effectiveness of home water filters for reducing PFOA, visit the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International website, http://www.nsf.org/.
  • Boiling your water will not remove PFOA. 

For more information, including about bottled water, see https://www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply/pdf/pfoa-pfos-faq.pdf

What is being done? 

The Borough of Park Ridge has been voluntarily monitoring concentrations of PFOA since 2020, and planning for the necessary treatment when it was determined that concentrations of PFOA were trending to levels that may exceed the then-pending New Jersey MCL. Proactive steps were taken to start the engineering design for new PFOA treatment at these three treatment plants, and securing the necessary funding. We anticipate that the final design will be submitted to the NJDEP for review and approval by late-October 2022. Installation of permanent treatment at all three treatment plants is currently anticipated to be completed in late 2023 due to time needed to secure funding, NJDEP review, and material availability. Temporary water treatment facilities have been installed at two of the TPs and became operational in late July 2022. The third well which was removed from service following the sampling on November 10, 2021 will remain off unless needed to meet emergency water demands. You will receive additional PFOA notification letters until the permanent water treatment facilities are online and our system’s RAAs are in compliance with the PFOA MCL. 

The results for the New Jersey regulated PFAS compounds have been provided to you in our 2022 Consumer Confidence Reports (containing 2021 data) which can be found on the webpage https://www.parkridgeboro.com/government/documents/department-documents/public-works/677-2022-water-quality-report-1/file. 

For more information, please contact Park Ridge Water Utility at 201-822-3167 or 53 Park Avenue 

Park Ridge, NJ 07656. 

*Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.* 

This notice is being sent to you by the Park Ridge Water Department. State Water System ID#: NJ0247001. 

Date distributed: September 19, 2022.