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The Belleville Water Department failed to report its corrective actions to the state after coliform bacteria were found in the township’s water system.
Coliforms are a group of bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and human and animal waste. While not harmful, they are an indicator that other, potentially harmful pathogens may be present.
The township routinely monitors its drinking water for contaminants. Coliform bacteria have been found in system samples multiple times during a 12-month period, most recently in September 2019.
In a May 7 notice to residents, the township emphasized that there was no emergency.
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During water assessment, no sanitary defects were found, but the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Safe Drinking Water found concerns during a site visit.
The town implemented several corrective actions, including sampling protocols, instrument calibration, maintaining interconnection sump pumps, maintaining a flushing log and chlorine residual recording, according to the notice.
Belleville was supposed to report any corrective actions by Jan. 10. The failure to report the actions “prolonged the risk of contamination,” the notice said.
“We are committed to correcting the deficiency to eliminate the threat of contamination,” the public works department said in the notice, which also said the township finished the suggested corrective actions by Feb. 17.
Belleville’s water supply is from the Pequannock Water Treatment Facility.
Mayor Michael Melham and Thomas Herits, manager of the water department, did not immediately return calls for comment.
Kaitlyn Kanzler covers Essex County for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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