Middlesex Water reopening wells shut down for contamination
The reintroduction of wells that were shut down due to contamination has begun in Middlesex County.
Middlesex Water Company on Monday announced a phased start-up of its Park Avenue wellfield in South Plainfield, which shut down in November 2021 following the detection of Perfluorooctanoic Acid, or PFOA, in excess of acceptable levels.
The first construction phase of an advanced treatment facility on the site has been competed, and it is effectively treating ground water to ensure compliance with all standards, the utility said.
Water being delivered now to customers through this phase-in is in compliance with all U.S. and New Jersey drinking water standards, the utility said. But, as groundwater is slowly introduced back into the distribution system, customers may notice changes in the hardness of water, as well as "temporary, harmless, discoloration."
Customers who experience discoloration can run their faucet for two to three minutes until the discoloration subsides, the utility said.
Since the shutdown of the wells, Middlesex Water has been providing water to customers from its surface water treatment plan and other sources.
"As the summer months approach, our team has been focused on meeting consumption demands and constantly evaluating operational alternatives to continue to ensure a safe and reliable source of drinking water," said Dennis Doll, chairman, president and CEO of Middlesex Water. "We are grateful to our engineering and contractor partners for their roles in helping to identify and implement this effective solution."
Middlesex Water is the target of a class action lawsuit as a result of the contamination. The utility says the plaintiffs have sued the wrong party; the utility seeks to hold 3M accountable for the problem.