New Jersey was one of the first states to force public water suppliers to test for a wide range of contaminants that were frequently found in drinking water in the 1980s. It even set up a Drinking Water Quality Institute to establish maximum levels for known harmful substances. Problems still persist, however, with some wells closed around the state for pollution, particularly in South Jersey.
Most of the state receives its drinking water from surface water supplies, such as the Raritan and Delaware Rivers, or groundwater from wells, which water purveyors treat before delivering it to homes and businesses. Others rely on private wells where owners are responsible for ensuring their water is safe from contaminants.
All that leads to a key question: