water exhibit illustration

This section describes the potential contamination of the drinking water supply of over 2 million New Jersey residents.  Remaining paint sludge deposits and other toxicants will be “capped” as per EPA’s 2020 Record of Decision (ROD).  This cheaper solution saves Ford $40 million, while leaving dangerous chemicals in the ground in lieu of a complete remediation on the hazardous site.  Water entered the Peters Mine Shaft after it was abandoned in the 1950s, pooling above the cap that Ford claims to have installed before any dumping took place. It laps around barrels, boxes, a discarded bulldozer, and other waste. Testing by The Record found lead, arsenic, chromium, cadmium, Freon, and benzene in streams and pools, as well as lead, nickel, antimony, arsenic, chromium, and copper in the sediments at the bottom of the Ringwood River.  These chemicals sit just a few miles upstream from the Wanaque Reservoir.

This chapter explains the ins and outs of the drinking water system of northern New Jersey.  It outlines the unknown dangers of underground water movement in the mines and the uncertain nature and extent of percolation through fissures and cracks in the deep bedrock.  Data from the 2018 Groundwater Feasibility Study, completed by Cornerstone Engineering Group, is explained in text and graphics.  Still images from old home movies, filmed in the 1960s-70s, are shown in contrast to the condition of the water today.  


Anita Bakshi