One county in New Jersey gained notoriety recently when news reports revealed that it had more contaminants in private wells than other counties in the state, according to this report.
About 17 percent of 6,000 private wells tested in Hunterdon County had levels of arsenic exceeding safe limits and also had high levels of nitrate and volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Statewide, 13 percent of private wells are contaminated.
Communities with the highest arsenic concentrations were Kingwood, East Amwell and Frenchtown. These locations had 42 percent, 40 percent and 65 percent, respectively, of tested wells that exceeded safe limits of the contaminant. Rarity Township garnered the record for the most instances of wells, both under and over safe limits, contaminated with arsenic -- 23 percent. So far, about a quarter of the state’s private wells have been tested under the state’s 2002 Private Well Testing Act. That law requires private wells to be tested and the results turned over to the state whenever a property is sold.