A new study claims that Jersey City water is relatively high in contaminants. However, the risk to one’s health may be nil.
Conducted by WaterFilterGuru, which calls itself a “source for all things related to clean and healthy water,” the ranking combined data from the Environmental Working Group (a nonprofit environmental group of scientists and advocates) and SimpleLab (a lab testing network for water, air, and other environmental factors).
The study placed Jersey City near the bottom, at 64 out of 70 cities surveyed, receiving a score of 41.90. For comparison, the least contaminated water was found in Memphis, TN with a total score of 8.34. Newark, NJ ranked dead last, receiving a score of 57.17.
It’s uncertain if Jersey City residents should be concerned however. Veolia, the city’s water provider, recently published a Consumer Confidence Report, showing that Jersey City drinking water meets Environmental Protection Agency Standards.
In contrast, Environmental Working Group’s report asserts that 12 contaminants exceed its own health guidelines. While allowing for the fact that Jersey City’s water “was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards,” the group says that “getting a passing grade from the federal government does not mean the water meets the latest health guidelines.” EWG has been criticized for releasing reports that some say are “alarmist”, “scaremongering” and “misleading.”
Brian Campbell, Founder and “Lead Water Geek” at WaterFilterGuru, told JCT that the findings in their report should cause Jersey City residents to be more proactive.
“By understanding the specific contaminants and quality parameters of their water supply, individuals can make informed decisions about the appropriate water treatment methods or filtration systems to safeguard their health and well-being,” Campbell said.
Among other substances, the study tested for potential cancer-causing contaminants known as Trihalomethanes, which include Chloroform and Bromodichloromethane. These compounds are byproducts of the water treatment process. The top-ranked city, Madison, WI, scored .38 THMs; Jersey City scored 3.68 and Newark 4.77.
“Residents should consider installing water filtration systems and staying informed about water quality,” Campbell said. “By taking collective action and implementing necessary measures, residents and water suppliers can ensure safer and healthier drinking water for the community.”
WaterFilterGuru is funded through commissions it receives from sellers of filtration products.
Veolia chose not to comment when contacted by JCT.