ISELIN, N.J., July 25, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Middlesex Water Company has announced that construction of an upgraded treatment plant at its Park Avenue wellfield in South Plainfield, New Jersey to treat Perﬂuorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) is now constructed and in service. The plant is treating groundwater in compliance with all state and federal drinking water standards.
In 2021, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) adopted a new regulation, or Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), for one of the more prevalent per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds, PFOA. While the drinking water delivered by Middlesex met all existing regulatory standards at the time, when the new MCL became effective, the Park Avenue Plant initially exceeded the new PFOA standard. The Company suspended use of the wellfield once it was able to switch to alternate sources of supply in November 2021. These alternate sources of supply helped ensure water delivered, from that time forward, was in compliance with all drinking water standards.
By June 2022, due to an expedited, phased construction approach, the Company was able to begin successfully treating groundwater containing PFOA in compliance with the new standard through a partial and temporary treatment facility. This interim facility also helped Middlesex meet heightened seasonal water consumption demands. As of June 30, 2023, the facility has progressed from temporary to permanent treatment status and is treating groundwater in compliance with all drinking water standards.
New Jersey’s standard for PFOA is 0.014 parts per billion (ppb) and is among the most stringent standards in the nation. The 0.014 ppb is based on a running annual average (RAA), in which the four most recent quarters of monitoring data are averaged. Middlesex’s RAA for PFOA at the Park Avenue Facility is currently at a level that is non-detectible under current analytical technology.
“I am deeply appreciative of our internal engineering and operations teams and external consultants who worked together to address this issue so effectively and efficiently. Our Company did not place PFOA into the groundwater, yet we’re committed to protecting public health and as such, are required to expend significant funds and labor resources to remove it to comply with standards,” said Dennis Doll, Chairman, President and CEO. “We are grateful to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for their counsel as we navigated the design, construction, operationalization and public communication relative to our treatment facility which continue to be comparable challenges for water systems in many states,” added Doll.
Middlesex has been issuing periodic Public Notification to its customers regarding plant construction progress. Notices of the construction completion milestone are being mailed to all customers and posted to the Company’s website at www.middlesexwater.com
Middlesex Water is currently in litigation with the firm it believes is responsible for the PFOA contamination. A trial date is set for October 2nd in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark, New Jersey.
About Middlesex Water Company
Established in 1897, Middlesex Water Company (NASDAQ:MSEX) serves as a trusted provider offering life-sustaining high quality water service for residential, commercial, industrial and fire protection purposes. The Company offers a full range of water, wastewater utility and related services. An investor-owned public utility, Middlesex Water is a professional services provider specializing in municipal and industrial contract operations and water and wastewater system technical operations and maintenance. The company and its subsidiaries form the Middlesex Water family of companies, which collectively serve a population of nearly half a million people in New Jersey and Delaware. The Company invests in its people, infrastructure and the communities it serves to support reliable and resilient utility services, economic growth and quality of life.
Bernadette Sohler, Vice President – Corporate Affairs
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