It is more important now than ever to raise awareness within our communities of the importance of regular water testing. The intensity and frequency of rain events has been increasing and with these climate extremes, more runoff and flooding.

Coliform bacteria typically live near the surface and are more likely to occur in wells during warmer and wetter weather conditions when surface water is recharging groundwater aquifers. Bacteria usually come from surface water that enters the well without first percolating/filtering through a sufficiently deep layer of porous material or when floodwater overtops the well casing.

An increased rate of coliform bacteria detections in the private wells tested through the RHA Well Testing program reflects the impact on public health due to changes in our climate. Public water supplies are frequently and regularly tested for an array of contaminants whereas testing of a private well is the responsibility of the homeowner.

The drinking water in over 700 residences throughout our watershed has been tested this fall through RHA’s Well Testing Program. Community Well Test events were held in the Townships of Bridgewater, Clinton, Delaware, Kingwood, Mendham, Raritan, Readington, and Tewksbury. In addition to the recommended annual testing for bacteria and nitrates, many homeowners took advantage of our program to make sure their drinking water was not contaminated with lead from pipes, solder, and fixtures inside their homes. Homeowners in our watershed have tested for other groundwater contaminants such as arsenic, volatile organic compounds, and naturally occurring radionuclides to ensure that the water that flows from their tap is safe to drink.

RHA is pleased to provide this important service to our residents and we thank our municipal partners for working with us to protect the health of our communities.