Radioactivity Rampant in New Jersey Well Water

Radioactivity in drinking water is more widespread in New Jersey than previously reported, according to well-testing data and a state report.

More than one-third of private wells tested in some South Jersey communities exceed recommended levels of radiological contaminants. In Mantua in Gloucester County, the figure was 100 percent.

The state Department of Environmental Protection compiled the data from 2002-2007, the first five years of the state Private Well Testing Act. That requires well analyses as part of real-estate sales.

In the coastal plan, an average of 10.7 percent of private wells exceeded the standards, according to the DEP numbers.

Last year, DEP’s Drinking Water Quality Institute proposed radon regulations be extended beyond the current standards for indoor air quality. While air represents the riskiest exposure, radon in water also contributes to the hazard, according to the report.

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