Corrosive groundwater could cause lead contamination in N.J. well water

(Bigstock)

(Bigstock)

New Jersey has a high prevalence of potentially corrosive groundwater that can cause lead contamination, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The acidity of well water in rural areas can cause lead and other metals from the water pipes to dissolve and pose a health risk, said Jeff Tittel, New Jersey Sierra Club director.

He said, however, some simple solutions exist.

“People can put in systems that soften the water, basically to reduce the acidity so that the lead doesn’t leach out of pipes or even from the groundwater,” Tittel said. “Putting in three or five stage filters as well to help reduce lead.”

New Jersey has not done enough to prevent lead problems, he said.

“We need to go out there and educate people in those areas on what steps they can take to reduce lead in their drinking water,” Tittel said. “We also need to go out there and find sources of lead because in some areas it’s because of contamination from industry that we need to be identifying and going after as well.”

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection requires water suppliers to test for lead and implement corrosion controls if necessary, a spokesman said.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.