In 2014 Solvay Specialty Polymers contacted the City of Woodbury to sample the City’s wells for chemicals that Solvay had released for about 25 years into the environment. Solvay’s chemical plant is in West Deptford along the Delaware River, and its chemicals had already been detected in other nearby wells and in the River. The primary chemical Solvay released into the environment, Perfluorononanoic Acid (PFNA), was subsequently found in the City’s public Well 7 at the Red Bank Avenue filtration plant.

At that time the NJDEP and USEPA had not adopted a regulatory standard or Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for the concentration of PFNA in drinking water, however the City voluntarily stopped using Well 7.

In 2015 Solvay stopped testing the City’s wells, and the City then began quarterly analysis for PFNA. In 2016 based on increasing concentrations of PFNA in nearby public Well 8 at Red Bank Avenue, the City also restricted the use of Well 8 such that PFNA was not detectable in the City’s public water system.

The City now relies on its three other wells (Wells 1 and 2 at Sewell and Well 9 at Red Bank Avenue) and on its interconnection with New Jersey American Water Company that do not have detectable levels of PFNA.

The PFNA concentrations in Wells 7 and 8 have been persistent, and the City has consequently taken careful actions to correct the problem. The City has already analyzed, bench tested, designed, permitted, and recently awarded a construction contract for treatment to remove PFNA from Wells 7 and 8 to below detectable levels by adding granular activated carbon (GAC) treatment to the existing Red Bank water filtration plant. Construction of the GAC treatment plant is scheduled to be substantially completed before January 28, 2021. For multiple years, the City has been updating customers about both the PFNA conditions and the City’s corrective actions in the annual Water Quality Reports and at Council meetings.

Somewhat simultaneously, the NJDEP was developing a limit for PFNA, and after extensive evaluation and public comment, the NJDEP on September 4, 2018 adopted a final MCL for PFNA of 13 nanograms/liter (ng/L) or 13 parts per trillion (ppt). This amendment to the NJ Safe Drinking Water Act requires (among other things) that the City begin in the first quarter of 2020 to monitor and report PFNA concentrations to the NJDEP on a quarterly basis. If the average of any four quarterly results are greater than the MCL, the DEP will issue a Notice of Non-Compliance and a one-year clock for compliance begins.

As required, the City began the monitoring and reporting of PFNA in 2020, and not surprisingly, the first Running Annual Average (RAA) concentration of PFNA exceeded the MCL. The NJDEP therefore issued a Notice of Non-Compliance requiring that the City take corrective action to achieve compliance. As described above, the City has already taken significant steps toward corrective actions during prior years and well before such actions were required by the NJDEP. However, one new corrective action required after receiving the Notice of Non-Compliance is issuance of a Tier 2 Public Notification by the City to persons served by the water system. A copy of a DEP approved public notification is thus attached and has also been posted on the City’s website.

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If you have further questions you may call 856-845-1301 or email Richard Leidy at [email protected]



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