What happened in Flint was a tragedy, but it wasn’t unique. While this was an exceptional case of corruption and scandal, the presence of lead in drinking water is an issue that has occurred numerous times before, including in New Jersey.
Your water provider, if your is not supplied by a private well, is responsible for testing for a whole suite of parameters (the requirements are even more stringent than bottled water) and alerting you if there is an issue. They test the water at the treatment plant and at a few sample locations within their distribution range. They are not responsible, however, for what happens to the water once it leaves the water main. Nearly all homes built prior to the 1980’s have lead pipes or lead solder. While the water provided to you has a neutral pH to mitigate pipe corrosion, it is still possible for these substances to leach into your drinking water.
If your water is supplied by a well, you are the only person responsible for monitoring its quality. Going years between tests leaves you and your family vulnerable to whatever contaminants may be seeping into your well, especially if your home was built prior to 1980.
GSWA has expanded its well water testing program this March to include lead testing for citizens who rely on public water supply. If you’re interested in participating in GSWA’s discounted water testing program this year, you can find more information here.