New Jersey American Water assured its customers that its water supply meets the state's new higher threshold for perfluorooctanoic acid.

Middlesex Water sent notices to all its customers north of the Raritan River served by its South Plainfield treatment facility warning that the state drinking water standard for PFOA is now being exceeded thanks to the new DEP standards that take effect in January.

New Jersey American Water president Mark McDonough said the company said it has already started making changes to be compliant when the new PFOA standard takes effect in January.

“We combine the dedication of water quality experts, cutting-edge research, and advanced technology to help recognize potential issues, such as PFAS, before they impact water quality, optimize treatment to help reduce the impact, and engineer sustainable solutions to help protect customers,” he said.

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PFOA is used in non-stick cookware, firefighting foams, carpet and upholstery coatings, water-resistant outdoor clothing and greaseproof food packaging, among other products.

Several towns have hired an environmental consulting firm to help determine a course of action.

Middlesex Water Company said it has been working on a $47 million upgrade to their South Plainfield water plant to be able to mitigate the chemical in the groundwater. The project is expected to be completed in 2023.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to PFOA "may result in adverse health effects, including developmental effects to fetuses during pregnancy or to breast-fed infants (e.g., low birth weight, accelerated puberty, skeletal variations), cancer (e.g., testicular, kidney), liver effects (e.g., tissue damage), immune effects (e.g., antibody production and immunity), thyroid effects and other effects (e.g., cholesterol changes)."

Previous reporting by Eric Scott was used in this report.

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