Thousands of Middlesex Water Company customers told water supply has high levels of PFOA

Thousands of New Jersey residents in Central Jersey are left with questions about the safety of their drinking water.
Middlesex Water Company sent a letter to its customers warning them of high levels of a chemical called PFOA. But the customers say that not much more was included.
News 12 New Jersey spotted several residents in Colonia – one of the affected areas – who were buying bottled water. They said that they need more than a letter from the water company before they will trust that their drinking water is safe to drink.
“They’ve done nothing to tell us how to remediate the problem,” says Joanne Staab. “What do we do?”
“Has this been here all the time? Or is it new? You don’t get any information from anybody – just to send a letter and not a solution,” says Donna Zielinski.
Middlesex Water Company says that the chemicals were found in the South Plainfield plant where the water is treated. Customers say that they need more information than this.
“It went on the back to tell you if you are immunocompromised or a senior citizen like I am – if you have young children, consult your medical physician before drinking it,” Stabb says.
Zielinski says she is wondering why the company is just alerting them to the issue now.
“They said you can’t boil the water. You can’t use Brita. Now we’re buying water. But what do we do? Middlesex Water needs to be responsible for this,” she says.
The company released a statement saying in part that it, “understands the concerns of customers who received the PFOA Notice of Exceedance. MWC has initiated a lawsuit against the alleged polluters and is investing $47 Million to construct a new treatment facility to remove PFOA from its Park Avenue Plant groundwater supplies. The Park Avenue facility serves a limited number of customers in the company’s overall service territory.”
The statement went on to say that New Jersey recently created one of the most stringent PFOA standards in the country based on a “One in a million chance of becoming ill by drinking water above the [Maximum Contaminant Level] over 70 years.
The new water treatment plant won’t be ready until 2023. Residents say that they can’t use bottled water until then.
Other towns impacted include Clark, Edison, Metuchen and Rahway.
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