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There is no lead in the Hawthorne water supply. Altough there are no lead pipes in the Hawthorne water system, the State of New Jersey believes there is a possibility that galvanized pipe (steel coated with zinc) can be a source of lead contamination, and 45% of the water service lines for Hawthorne Water customers are made of galvanized pipe. Lead could also enter the water from lead fittings and some brass fixtures inside a house. Thirty years of testing water inside homes pursuant to teh federal governmetn's "Lead and Copper" rule has not revealed a lead problem in the Hawthorne water system.
The Hawthorne Water System has no actual lead service lines. Roughly 45% of the service lines in teh system are made all or in part of galvanized pipe, which the State of NewJersey has legislatively defined to be "lead," All customers with galvanized service lines were sent notices on 2/22/2022 via certified mail providing this information. To check whether or not you have a galvanized service line, refer to our inventory
The Borough's contracted water testing lab can conduct a test for lead in water drawn from your home at a cost of $75 to the customer. For more information, call Trish at Agra at 973 989-0010. Other laboratories may also be able to perform this test.
You should contact your familiy pediatrician. If, for some reason, you do not have a family pediatrician, call the Hawthorne Board of Health at 973-427-4012.
Galvanized service lines will all be replaced over the next ten years. No schedule has yet been set for individual lines. You will receive a notice before the Borough does this work.
The Borough will pay the cost of replacing galvanized service lines - both the Borough's portion from main to curb, and the customer's portion from curb to the meter. The Borough will, however, will raise water rates in order to have the funds to repay debt taken on to pay this cost. The amount of this rate increase is unknown at this time, until we receive actual bid prices on the line replacement, and find out whether we will receive grants and/or low interest loans to help lower those debt service costs.
If no water has been drawn for six or more hours, then turning on the tap and letting it run for 45 seconds or more would flush out all the water that has been sitting in the pipe. It is when water has had a long contact time with the pipe, sittings or fixtures containing lead that there is a danger of lead leaching ino the water..So water used for drinking or food preparation after flushing the lines this way should have have a risk of lead.
Other steps are: having your water tested for lead, or switching to bottled water for drinking. Some water filters may remove lead, but please read lables on filters to see if they are certified for lead removal.
Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. It can cause damage to the brain and kidneys and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. The greatest risk of lead exposure is to infants, young children, and pregnant women. Scientists have linked the effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in children. Adults with kidney problems and high blood pressure can be affected by low levels of lead more than healthy adults. Lead is stored in the bones, and it can be released later in life. During pregnancy, the child receives lead from the mother’s bones, which may affect brain development. Contact the Hawthorne Board of Health at 973-427-4012 or your healthcare provider to find out how you can get your child tested for lead if you are concerned about lead exposure. You can find out more about how to get your child tested and how to pay for it at https://www.state.nj.us/health/childhoodlead/testing.shtml.
Even if the customer portion of a service lines (from the curb into the house) has been replaced with copper, the Borough portion of the service line (from the main to the curb) may still be galvanized, which would be the reason for the notice. You can help the Borough ensure the accuracy of its database by callting 973-427-5330 and reporting that your portion of the service line is copper.
No. Replacing any pipoes or fixtures within a building is the responsibility of the proeprty owner.
PFOA and PFOS do not occur naturally. They are man-made chemicals that have been used to make carpets, clothing, fabric for furniture, paper packaging for food, and other materials (such as non-stick cookware) that are resistant to water, grease or stains. They are also used for firefighting at airfields and in a number of industrial processes. Through one means or another, they have penetrated into the deep underground aquifer from which Hawthorne draws its water, most likely from industrial discharges
In 2020 the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) set new limits on PFOA and PFOS in drinking water (limits that are well below the current federal health advisory levels). With regular testing required starting in 2021. The water itself has not changed.
The DEP “maximum contaminant level” for PFOA is 14 nanograms per liter (= parts per trillion)
The DEP “maximum contaminant level” for PFOS is 13 nanograms per liter (= parts per trillion)
These levels are significantly less than the federal EPA “health advisory level” of 70 nanograms per liter (parts per trillion), either individually or combined.
DEP has said that neither PFOA nor PFOS is deemed an acute contaminant, and the notice issued by the DEP is NOT deemed a “do not drink” order.
The DEP limits appear to have been established due to an abundance of caution and a concern about consumption of water over a lifetime
Hawthorne’s water has concentrations of PFOS and PFOA well below the current federal advisory levels of 70 parts per trillion
According to the DEP, some people who drink water containing PFOA or PFOS in excess of the MCL over many years could experience problems with their blood serum cholesterol levels, liver, kidney, immune system, or, in males, reproductive system. Drinking water containing PFOA in excess of the MCL over many years may also increase the risk of testicular and kidney cancer. For females, drinking water containing PFOA or PFOS in excess of the MCL over many years may cause developmental delays in a fetus and/or an infant.
More information on PFAS in drinking water can be found in the New Jersey Department of Health's drinking water facts on the subject.
If you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.
If you have a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant, or are elderly, you may be at increased risk and should seek advice from your health care providers about drinking this water.
The New Jersey Department of Health advises that bottle-fed babies should have formula prepared with bottled water, and that pregnant women, nursing women and women considering having a child should use bottled water or a home filter. Individuals who wish to reduce exposure to PFAS while the water utility is taking action to reduce levels can also consider switching to bottled or home-filtered water.
Water treatment devices utilizing granular or powdered activated carbon filters, reverse osmosis, ion exchange resins and other specialized treatment media are technologies that can reduce the level of PFAS in drinking water. If a water treatment device is used, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance and operation. NSF International, an independent and accredited organization, certifies products proven effective for reducing PFOA and PFOS below the EPA Lifetime Health Advisory level (70 ppt), but these products are not certified for removal to the lower NJ MCLs of 14 and 13 ppt. Some studies have demonstrated up to 50% removal of PFAS when using either pitcher or refrigerator filters. (Bold and italicized is New statements by NJDOH)
No, boiling water does not remove PFOA or PFOS.
The Borough engineer gean in June, 2021, to design a treatment system that will remove PFOA and PFOS from the drinking water, after which the Borough applied in November, 2021, to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection for a permit to install the system. The DEP didn't issue this permit until Aprril, 2022. At that time, the DEP sontinued revioew of the plans on behalf of the New Jersey Infrasturcture Bank, to whom the Borough had applied for low-cost financing for the project. The DEP and the DEP didn't give authorization to bid the project until October of 2022. The Borough received bids in November, and awarded the construction contract at a specail Council meeting on 11/21/2022.
Although a bid for construction of the system was awarded on Novvember 21, 2022, the current estimated timeframe for delivery of the necessary equipment is 30 weeks from the order date, which will likely push completion of the installation toward the end of 2023..
DEP had notified the Borough that we only had only until August 25, 2022,to be in compliance (which means having the treatment system operational), The time for design of the system and then protected review of a permit application byt the DEP (5 months) and then further DEP review of low-cost funding spplication to the New Jersye Infrastructure bank (6 months), and finally the delivery time for the eqipment made that completion date totally unrealistic..
The construction contract awarded by the Borough for this project is $5,320,000. Engineering design and inspection services add $1,017,000 to this cost .
The system will also increase annual operating costs due to periodic replacement of media in the filters.
The Borough applied to the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank for a low interest loan to reduce the debt service costs for money borrowed to building this treatment system. This application was approved. The [package includes $1 million in principal forgiveness as well as lowinterest borrowing.
The Borough Council on 12/1/2021 approved Resolution R-164-21 which authorized the hiring of Litigation Counsel to bring legal action against the manufacturers of PFOA and PFOS to recover all or a portion of the cost of the treatment process. This litigation is ongoing.
Any residual cost of the treatment system - whatever is not covered by the low-interest loans or recovery from the lawsuit - will be funded by the issuance of bonds.
The Borough has adopted a rate increase of 13% for 2023 and anotehr 13% increase for 2024 as the first step toward covering the project costs. It is expected that another substantial rate increase wil be required in 2025 to pay for the debt service on the loans as well as the operating costs of this system.
Hawthorne Shade Tree Governance
The Hawthorne Shade Tree Commission (HSTC), is comprised of five volunteer members and two alternate members appointed by the Mayor to five year overlapping terms. The Shade Tree Commissioners work together as a board on policy and measures related to the proper care and stewardship of Shade Trees in the town. Public meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at 4:30pm. Tree maintenance/remediation is managed and coordinated by the Borough and the hired contractor.
Hawthorne Shade Trees are in the "right of way". That generally means 10 feet from the curb into the lawn (there are other measurement factors that determine the 10ft.). If the tree is in the grass at the curb and there is a sidewalk, it is likely Shade Tree. Our Arborist will be able to measure and make that determination. If you are not sure, please call or email Hawthorne Shade Tree at 973-427-5555 ext. 318 or email HawthorneShadeTree@Hawthornenj.org.
Please go the Borough website for the following links:
It's always sad to see big mature trees removed. But, trees on private property are not subject to the Shade Tree guidelines. The Hawthorne Shade Tree Commission has no jurisdiction over trees on private property.
Pruning and Removal Requests
If you think your Shade Tree needs to be removed, please contact the Hawthorne Shade Tree at 973-427-5555 ext. 318 or email HawthorneShadeTree@Hawthornenj.org. Our town arborist will be out within two weeks to review the situation and provide a remediation plan. Please let us know if you think this is an URGENT issue so we can arrange a faster review. Also note, for every tree that is removed, the HSTC will do its best to replace the tree during the following planting cycle.
General turnaround time for tree remediation is 2-3 months, weather permitting, and if there are no other urgent tree remediation's that need to take place. Steps we take are:
Great question, stump removal is usually 4 weeks after the Shade Tree is removed. The area needs to be marked out by Public Works so no public services are impacted. Also, we try to ground multiple stumps at a time. These two things combined get us at a 4 week turn around.
When in doubt, please contact the Hawthorne Shade Tree at 973-427-5555 ext. 318 or email HawthorneShadeTree@Hawthornenj.org.. We can help with the next steps.
We understand you may want to appeal a decision recently made. To appeal, please do the following:
Your are correct, Hawthorne Shade Tree does try to budget for a planting each Fall. These trees are placed in the right of way, generally 10 feet from the curb in front of your home. We love when residents ask for these trees. Please call or email Hawthorne Shade Tree at 973-427-5555 ext. 318 or HawthorneShadeTree@Hawthornenj.org and make your request. We will fulfill all we can. These plantings are also used to replace trees removed for health reasons/road correction needs during yearly roadwork.
There is complete thoughtfulness in the trees selected by our arborist. Our arborist selects trees based upon site conditions.
Sidewalk Repair and Roadwork Projects
Yes, once you have secured your permit, please call or email Hawthorne Shade Tree at 973-427-5555 Ext. 318 or HawthorneShadeTree@Hawthornenj.org and make your request. the arborist will come out and look at the tree once the sidewalk is open and roots exposed. There should be no roots cut or trees removed without Borough Arborist direction. If the trees are cut in any way, this may result in a violation to the homeowner and contractor.
Please also go to our website for full documentation on the sidewalk process.
Yes, roadwork happens yearly. The HSTC arborist works with the Borough Engineer to determine what if any tree remediation is needed to complete roadwork successfully. Letters are sent to residents by the Borough Administrator to make you aware of the upcoming work. As a general rule, the arborist makes every effort to save every tree without compromising the tree or roadwork. The Hawthorne Shade Tree also works with the arborist to replace removed trees with trees that are appropriate for the site. If you have questions on roadwork, please contact the Borough Clerk at 973-427-1167 or Boswell Engineering at 201-681-5594 for more information.
Shade Trees always need to be reviewed and then maintained by the town. This helps to maintain the trees integrity. We also want to review the overall health of the tree. For pruning, please call or email Hawthorne Shade Tree at 973-427-5555 Ext. 318 or email HawthorneShadeTree@Hawthornenj.org.. Our town arborist will be out within two weeks to review the situation and provide a remediation plan. Pruning generally takes place in cooler weather.