Camden, New Jersey
What is the Water Quality in Camden, New Jersey?
Compared to other US cities, Camden water quality ranks in the high range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 43 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Arsenic is at extremely high levels: 100x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 94x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 320x health guidelines.
- These are both byproducts of the chlorine treatment process most water supplies go through.
- PFOA is at extremely high levels: 1,446x health guidelines.
- PFOS is at extremely high levels: 43x health guidelines.
- These are considered “forever chemicals” by the EPA and are being studied extensively.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Camden water.
What’s in Camden water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in Camden water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 43 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
20 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Camden water have Lead contamination?
Yes, Camden has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2016 through 2018 showed concentrations up to 3.3 parts per billion (ppb).
The legal limit for lead is 15 parts per billion. Being well-below this level is a good thing.
- Concentrations between 3.8 ppb and 15 ppb put a formula-fed baby at risk of elevated blood lead levels. Read more about the symptoms of Lead in water.
There is no safe level of lead for humans.
- The good news is that 99.99% of the lead can be removed.
See the What Can You Do? section below to learn how to filter out contaminants.
Where does Camden’s water come from?
Camden’s water comes from the Petty Island – Delaware River watershed.
All 9 EPA assessed water sources in the Petty Island – Delaware River watershed are in Impaired condition. These include:
- Cooper River
- 6 sections of the Delaware River
- Frankford Creek
- Newton Creek
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition.
Whether a water source is in Impaired or Good condition refers to the quality of these uses:
- Drinking Water
- Aquatic Life
- Fish and Shellfish Consumption
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Camden’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Camden can be surprising.
But there are things you can do in your home to clean up your water.
To Remove Lead and Other Contaminants In Your Home:
There is one solution that beats Brita, PUR, and expensive whole house systems.
- It costs less per gallon.
- Needs fewer filter changes.
- And it doesn’t make your water taste weird.
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out at least 80% of contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 40 of the 43 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your house.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- Arsenic – health risks
- Barium – health risks
- Bromodichloromethane – health risks
- Chloroform – health risks
- Cyanide – health risks
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium
- Selenium – health risks
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
*Chlorination is an effective method of disinfecting/treating drinking water. You can then use a water filter to reduce the effects of chlorination byproducts to get the safest, cleanest water possible.
In Your Community:
Contact your local government officials and put pressure on them to invest in cleaner waterways and upgraded city water filtration and treatment.
Go to: http://www.ci.camden.nj.us/ to find contact information for your local officials.