Rockaway Borough Well Field
Morris County, NJ
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The Rockaway Borough Well Field site covers an area of two square miles and includes three water supply wells. These wells are located in the sole source aquifer for Rockaway Borough and surrounding communities. In 1980, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected in the municipal wells. The contaminated wells are about 750 feet from the Rockaway River and are located in a suburban residential setting. The Borough’s municipal wells supply potable water to about 11,000 people.
Of the 13 VOCs detected at the site, trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) are the primary contaminants of concern. VOCs can cause short- and long-term health effects including eye, nose and throat irritation; nausea; headaches; and damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system. Before residents receive the well water, though, a Borough water treatment system treats the water to drinking water standards. A 1991 Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) identified two separate plumes: the “Klockner & Klockner” and “Wall Street/East Main Street.”
In 1981, residents were advised not to use their tap water for drinking or cooking due to contamination. After the National Guard trucked in temporary drinking water, the Borough built and later upgraded a water treatment system. In 1985, the state of New Jersey investigated the site and confirmed the presence of VOCs in the ground water. EPA identified six parties potentially responsible for the contamination at the site and in 1994 reached a settlement with Cordant Technologies, now a part of Alliant Techsystems, Inc. EPA also entered into an Administrative Order on Consent with Klockner & Klockner Partnership. Three Records of Decision outline the manner in which EPA is addressing the site. Remedial Actions include the extraction and treatment of contaminated ground water and the identification and removal of contaminant sources.