Water Quality

The Washington Township MUA works around the clock to provide top quality water to every tap. We ask that all our customers help us protect our water sources, which are the heart of our community, our way of life and our children's future.  We are committed to ensuring the quality of your water and I'm pleased to report that our drinking water is safe and meets all Federal and State requirements.

 

Where Does Our Water Come From?

where_2.gif (25562 bytes)During June, July, and August of 1994, Washington Township used 544,281,000 gallons of water.  In June of 1994, 228,747,000 gallons were used for an average of 7,624,900 per day.  With a storage capacity of around 7 million gallons, you can see why we need to conserve water.   Summer use more than doubles the 3,624,290 gallons we used per day in January of 1994.  Where does all this water come from?  The most obvious answer is that water comes from the Washington Township Municipal Utilities Authority, but it is more complex than that.  Our water comes to us as a result of the water cycle.

aquifer1.jpg (29518 bytes)In the water cycle, water is endlessly recycled.   Energy from the sun causes water to evaporate from the lakes, ponds, pools, soil, or even your skin.  Transpiration is evaporation from the plants that allows the plants to draw nutrients up from the soil.  The water vapor condenses in the sky where it forms clouds.  Gravity causes it to fall back to earth as some form of precipitation like rain, sleet, or snow.

Water from rain moves down into the soil where some of it is absorbed by plants while the rest of it keeps moving down to the water table, an area of ground saturated with water.  Some precipitation runs off of paved areas and other land surfaces, washing pollutants from the ground into storm drain's or sewers and eventually into streams, rivers, and lakes.  Some of this water will also move down through the soil to the water table.

As the water slowly moves down through the ground it is filtered and cleaned.  This water will eventually collect in an area of porous rock, gravel, or sand called an aquifer.  Aquifers are natural underground storage areas.  There are three major aquifers in Washington Township.  The deepest is the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy (Raritan).  Next is the Wenonah-Mt. Laurel.  Nearest to the surface is the Cohansey.

Most of the WTMUA's wells draw water from the Raritan and it is this aquifer that is in trouble.  Water is being removed from this aquifer faster than it can be replaced.  In a balanced system, water from rain would percolate down through the ground recharging the aquifer at the same speed that the water is being removed so that there is always an adequate supply in the aquifer.  The Raritan is losing water at a dangerous rate and is vulnerable to saltwater intrusion and other kinds of pollution.

How We Treat Our Water

  1. We have to add chlorine to the water supply for disinfection.

  2. We add fluoride to help prevent tooth decay in young children.  The range is between 0.8ppm (parts per million) and 1.2ppm.

  3. We add lime to the Cohansey Wells to raise the pH (acid).

  4. We also add a corrosion inhibitor and sequestering agent to make the water non-aggressive and help keep iron and manganese in suspension.

  5. We also employ air stripping to remove any volatile organics and a filtering process to remove radiological elements.

Credits and References

Credits

Expertise and assistance was provided by the following:

  1. John Boyer and the members of the Washington Township Environmental Commission
  2. Sheldon Belson, Paul DeCosta, and Matt Mallon of the WTMUA
  3. Steve Quesenberry of the South Jersey Resources Conservation and Development Council

Selected References

  1. Brody, J. (1992). Washington Township Water Conservation Manual. Unpublished master thesis, Glassboro State College.
  2. Camp Dresser & McKee Inc. (1986). Potential Water Savings From Conservation in the Camden Metropolitan Area. Boston: Author.
  3. Owen, O.S. (1985). Natural Resource Conservation. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, Inc.

Water Quality Reports

Comprehensive annual drinking water quality test reports may be viewed directly from the links below in PDF form.

Well and Tank Sites

Tower @ 5 PointsThe MUA maintains 14 well sites, 4 elevated tank sites and 3 storage tanks at various locations throughout the Township.  The well sites draw water from 3 different underground aquifers; Raritan, Cohansey and Mt Laurel-Wenonah.  The capacity of the tanks range from 400,000 gallons to 3,000 000 gallons and the storage tanks capacity ranges from 225,000 gallons to 235,000 gallons.

For a table of well & tank sites click here.

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