Amendments to the Private Well Testing Act Rule

Published Oct 02, 2018

Through a rule published in the New Jersey Register on September 4, 2018, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) amended the Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) Rules N.J.A.C. 7:9E.


PWTA rule changes include monitoring requirements based upon the adoption of a maximum contaminant level of 30 parts per trillion for 1,2,3-trichloropropane, also known as 1,2,3-TCP, and new requirements for additional monitoring as outlined below.


Why are new rules being implemented?

The amendments involve contaminants that have been determined to have detrimental health effects, as shown below. Therefore, these amendments are necessary to protect public health. In addition, the applicable treatment technologies often remove other contaminants of concern that are not yet regulated.



What is new?


1,2,3-TCP– This rule adds the DWQI-recommended MCL of 0.030 µg/l to the NJ Safe Drinking Water Act rules (SDWA) and requires monitoring and treatment, as necessary, at both public community and non-transient non-community water systems (NTNC) starting in 2019. Also, due to its occurrence in private wells and because it is a potent carcinogen and mutagen, the DEP is amending the PWTA to require testing of private wells at the time of sale of property. PWTA regulation changes will be effective beginning March 3, 2019.


Testing for Ethylene dibromide (EDB) and 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP) – The testing for 1,2,3-TCP, also detects ethylene dibromide (EDB) and 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), which have MCLs under the Federal SDWA and are also potent carcinogens and mutagens. As such, the DEP is amending the PWTA to require testing for these two analytes as well. Testing is required to start beginning March 3, 2019.


Expands testing for gross alpha and arsenic and new testing for uranium for private wells – This includes amendments to the PWTA for private wells based on sound scientific analysis including studies conducted by the United States Geological Survey and the NJ Geological and Water Survey, as well as years of NJ private well data. Amendments include the expansion of arsenic testing (previously only in Northern NJ counties) and of gross alpha testing (previously only in Southern NJ counties) that will result in statewide testing for both contaminants. New uranium testing will be required for 12 northern counties (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren). Uranium testing is necessary to identify which radiological contaminant is contributing to a high gross alpha result and to identify the correct treatment. Testing for private well-owners will occur at the time of sale of real property or every five years for rental properties. Starting Sept. 4, testing is required.


More information as well as a copy of the rule can be found on the Department of Environmental Protection’s website – click here.