At the Nov 8 Perth Amboy City Council meeting , a resident asked about if there are plans to improve the Perth Amboy drinking water quality. Questions were asked about if water filters could be purchased and made available to the public that could improve the drinking water quality and protect public health. Improving drinking water quality for city residents could be paid for by the $16 million in American Rescue Plan funds the city was allocated. Residents have said at many Council Meetings that they do not want to pay more for the poor quality water and do not want to invest in the water system unless it is to improve the water quality. Recently, the city wanted to take out millions in bonds for new water meters, not water quality improvement.
The Environmental Working Group, EWG, published their 2021 Tap Water Database, a searchable database by zip code, that gives residents the ability to see what is in their drinking water. The database looks through state water records and shows if there are any pollutants found or violations of drinking water standards. When you type in Perth Amboy’s zip code 08861, it takes you to the reports.
The report said that in the 3 year compliance history report, the Perth Amboy Water Utility spent 2 quarters in significant violation of federal drinking water standards. It said that from January 2021 – March 2021), tap water provided was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards. It provides detail of reports of Perth Amboy water utility.
In NJ drinking water quality standards have become among the strictest in the country, more than EPA water quality standards, in order to protect public health. In NJ “public utilities and owners of private water wells must ensure that drinking water contains no more than 14 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and 13 ppt for PFOS, two of the strictest standards among states that have regulated the cancer causing chemicals, and far stronger than the 70 ppt advisory guideline set by the U.S. EPA, a level that advocates say is much too lax to protect public health. New Jersey is one of seven states that have enforceable regulation drinking water standards for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
In Perth Amboy, EWG, an advocate for high quality drinking water, reported contaminants are in our drinking water that they do not consider healthy and recommended filters.
Currently, 6 towns in the Perth Amboy area are considering a class action law suit against their water utility for violation of significant violation of NJ enforceable drinking water standards for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).