Ridgewood residents alerted town's drinking water is contaminated with 'forever chemicals'

Residents received a repeat notice in the mail, yet again alerting them that their drinking water still was not in compliance with state standards and could possibly cause cancer and reproductive issues.

News 12 Staff

Oct 23, 2022, 2:52 AM

Updated 641 days ago

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Levels of so-called "forever chemicals" that exceed state guidelines were found in drinking water in Ridgewood.
Residents received a repeat notice in the mail, yet again alerting them that their drinking water still was not in compliance with state standards and could possibly cause cancer and reproductive issues.
"We're having bottled water at dinner purposefully," said resident Angelo Thalassinos. He and his family have lived in Ridgewood for several years now and this was not the first time they've gotten a notice about the water, so they stick to bottled water.
"There doesn't seem to be a mandate for everyone to do so," he added.
Even without a mandate, most of the Ridgewood residents News 12 New Jersey spoke with on Saturday said they don't drink the water.
"Bottled water. Yeah, we don't drink the water at all," said Kevin Kelly.
Last week, Ridgewood residents received another notice in the mail that their drinking water still was not in compliance and there were harmful chemicals that can also be found in firefighting foams, metal plating and fabric protectants.
In 2020, New Jersey adopted a standard and monitoring began in 2021.
In the past year, the utility has failed to correct the violations issued a year ago.
Ridgewood Mayor Susan Knudson said the utility is working as quickly as possible to remediate.
One resident told News 12 New Jersey they paid thousands of dollars for an at-home filtration system.
These "forever chemicals" can cause an array of illnesses if one drinks water that contains them in excess. Over time, they can cause kidney and testicular cancer. They may cause developmental effects in a fetus or in infants as well as reproductive issues.
Earlier this year, the town received $2.7 million in federal grant money for the Ravine Treatment Facility. According to Knudson, Ridgewood Water is waiting for the Environmental Protection Agency to release funds.
Knudson said Ridgewood Water is in court to hold those companies who are responsible for contamination accountable. The utility is also working on a plan to provide more efficient treatment.


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