Environmental Quality


Air Quality

The EPHT Network makes available important information on New Jersey’s air quality. The data is collected by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which enforces state and federal air quality laws. NJDEP maintains an extensive network of air quality monitors, which collects data on:

Fine Particulate Matter:
Particles of various sizes are added to air by the trucks, cars, and buses and by industrial emissions. Fine particles, less than 2.5 microns in diameter, (known as PM2.5) can be inhaled deep into the lungs where they can impair lung function and cause tissue damage.

Data and summary statistics for particulate matter

Ozone:
Ozone forms when pollutants from cars and power plants react with heat and sunlight. Breathing high levels of ozone can cause coughing and pain in the chest and throat. Effects are more severe in people with asthma and other respiratory ailments.

Data and summary statistics for Ozone

Toxic Air Pollutants:
Many chemical pollutants are emitted into the air from industrial, residential and mobile sources.

Directory of NJEPHT Program Toxic Air Pollutant Indicators †

The USEPA’s National-scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) estimates the concentration of, and risk from, 178 Hazardous Air Pollutants.  These ten air toxics were selected as indicators because their NATA estimates were above the health benchmark in five or more counties in New Jersey, and because the primary source was industrial emissions, vehicles, or other area sources.

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Drinking Water

Drinking WaterEPHT, working in close partnership with NJDEP, has summarized data on water quality for over 600 community water systems. as well as for numerous private wells.  Community water systems serve more than 85% of the state’s population.  The EPHT Network contains information on the following:

Arsenic (As) is a naturally-occurring element in the earth’s crust, used in the past as a pesticide.  Elevated arsenic levels found in some groundwater sources are most likely from natural sources.  Arsenic has been classified as a carcinogen, and can also cause other health effects. 

Data and summary statistics for Arsenic

Disinfection by-products by-products (DBPs) are formed when disinfectants, such as chlorine used during water treatment to destroy harmful bacteria and viruses, react with natural organic matter in water. A wide variety of DBPs are formed, but only trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) are typically measured since they are produced in the largest amounts.

Data and summary statistics for Disinfection By-Products

Nitrate may be found in drinking water as a result of fertilizer use on agricultural lands.  Exposure to high levels of nitrate in drinking water may result in a condition, particularly in infants, in which the blood is unable to carry sufficient amounts of oxygen.

Data and summary statistics for Nitrate

In addition to the drinking water contaminants listed above, the NJ Tracking Network also contains information about the following contaminants:

Get More Information about my Own Drinking Water Quality

If your drinking water comes from a public community water system:
Your water supplier is required to test it to ensure it meets state and federal Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs).  You can get the most recent test results for your water system by contacting your water supplier or the NJDEP Division of Water Supply and Geoscience at (609) 292-5550. 

If your drinking water comes from a private well:
You are responsible for testing.  The NJDEP recommends that you use a laboratory that is NJDEP-certified. You can call NJDEP Office of Quality Assurance at (609) 292-3950 for information on laboratories certified to test drinking water.  In New Jersey, testing is required for sale of residential real estate when a well is the source of water.  For more information, contact the NJDEP Private Well Testing Program or call (866) 479-8378.

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Radon

radonRadon is a radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of naturally occurring uranium in soil and rock. It is invisible, odorless and tasteless, and can only be detected by specialized tests. Radon enters homes through openings that are in contact with the ground, such as cracks in the foundation, small openings around pipes, and sump pits.

The NJ EPHT web portal contains information on radon screening and mitigation. Screening data illustrate the increasing percent of homes that have been tested for radon since the mid-1990s. The mitigation data show the percent of homes that tested at or above 4 picocuries radon per liter air (pCi/L) and were mitigated.

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Last Reviewed: 11/17/2016