State officials joined the New Jersey American Water team Dec. 5 to celebrate a $2.5 million investment in the company’s Delaware River Regional Water Treatment Plant.
Upgrades to the Delran facility included the installation of Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOP) to treat 1,4-dioxane, an unregulated synthetic chemical.
What is 1,4-dioxane?
1,4-dioxane is an unregulated synthetic chemical that enters the environment in contaminated soils and wastewater discharge and may enter drinking water utilities that use surface water and/or groundwater, according to New Jersey American Water.
Federal and state regulations do not yet include a drinking water standard for the compound, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not require action if a certain level is detected. The NJDEP began the process of setting a state regulation in 2021 at approximately 0.33 parts per billion, but has not yet formalized this standard.
In February 2020, routine testing in the Delaware River led to the discovery of 1,4-dioxane. Although federal and state regulations do not yet include a drinking water standard for the compound, and it was at a level unlikely to pose an acute health risk, the Camden-based water utility – with the guidance of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Delaware River Basin Commission and other agencies – launched a treatment design plan for the plant.
“The Delaware River Regional Water Treatment Plant is a source of water for thousands of people living in New Jersey, and the upgrades to our treatment processes help ensure we continue to provide safe, clean water service,” New Jersey American Water President Mark McDonough said in a statement.
According to the company, the plant produces more than 40 million gallons of water per day for hundreds of thousands of residents in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties.
“As the state’s largest water provider and a backup supplier for many additional systems when needs arise, it is imperative that New Jersey American Water invests in the appropriate technology and treatment when we anticipate guidelines are being developed,” McDonough added. “We are proud to continue proactively investing in the safety and quality of our water service for residents across the state.”
In addition to facility treatment upgrades, water quality experts at the plant consistently sample the facility’s surface water supply for detectable levels of 1,4-dioxane.
Other action from New Jersey American Water
- NJ American Water invests $10.2M in multiple communities
- NJ American Water shows off $28M water treatment plant upgrades
- NJ American Water gives $950K for Camden revitalization efforts