Reader Mail: Hoboken water quality
Does anyone have any concerns regarding the quality of the water we receive from United Water? While I don’t think it’s awful, I still personally use the “two Brita pitcher filtration system”, where I pour the contents of one fully filtered pitcher into a second, thus removing all aftertaste or contaminants. Some may consider it overkill, but I feel it makes the water taste much better.
A reader wrote in regarding his concerns with the periodic inconsistencies with the taste and odor.
I live on 8th and Washington. From time to time I notice that the water in my apartment has a distinct “odor” and “taste” like it has just been chlorinated or chemically treated. Are you aware of the town doing this to our water supply on a regular basis? Is the water safe? Any info is appreciated. Thanks.”
I did a little research for him, and found that the United Water website was a valuable source of information! How they treat the water that comes primarily from the Jersey City Reservoir located in Parsippany (which is fed by the Rockaway River.) You can view or download annual reports that outline the elements that are apparently in our water (as of 2005 – the latest report comes out next month). Whether they change their treatment methodologies from time to time is beyond me. If you feel there is something awry with your water, you might be best off calling them at 800-422-5987
More from their website:
At United Water we take great pride in our ability to provide you with drinking water that meets or surpasses all state and federal standards. We constantly monitor the quality of drinking water—before, during and after the purification process. We report the results to state and federal agencies. If you would like more information on water quality, call us at 1 800 575 4433 (Jersey City customers) or 1 800 422 5987 (Hoboken customers).
The Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) for Jersey City and Hoboken provides detailed information about your water quality. You can downlowad a portable document format (pdf) of our CCR.
All of Jersey City’s water supply comes from reservoirs. This type of water is called surface water because it is stored on the earth’s surface. The treatment process begins at the Jersey City Water Treatment Plant in Boonton.
Pumps draw the water from the reservoir into the treatment plant. Next, the water flows through a screen that removes sticks, fish, rock and other objects. The chemicals polymaluminum chloride and polymer are added and bind small particles together to form larger particles called “floc.” We do this because it’s easier to remove larger particles from the water. During the next step, the water mixes with the chemicals at the flocculation station. Then the water flows to a settling basin where the floc falls to the bottom. The clean water on the top moves to a filter gallery where it flows through layers of coal, sand and gravel to remove the smallest remaining particles. A small dose of chlorine is added to make sure the water remains pure and safe as it travels to your home. Finally, we add corrosion control chemicals to reduce the chance of lead dissolving in the water from household plumbing. The treated water leaves the plant and is carried by gravity for the entire trip to the heart of Jersey City. Only one pumping station, The Troy Street Station, pumps the water up to The Heights.