State officials joined the New Jersey American Water team Dec. 5 to celebrate a $2.5 million investment in the company’s Delaware River Regional Water Treatment Plant.
Upgrades to the Delran facility included the installation of Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOP) to treat 1,4-dioxane, an unregulated synthetic chemical.
1,4-dioxane enters the environment in contaminated soils and wastewater discharge and may enter drinking water utilities that use surface water and/or groundwater.
Federal and state regulations do not yet include a drinking water standard for the compound, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not require action if a certain level is detected. The NJDEP began the process of setting a state regulation in 2021 at approximately 0.33 parts per billion, but has not yet formalized this standard.
In February 2020, routine testing in the Delaware River led to the discovery of 1,4-dioxane. Although federal and state regulations do not yet include a drinking water standard for the compound, and it was at a level unlikely to pose an acute health risk, the Camden-based water utility – with the guidance of the NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and other agencies – launched a treatment design plan for the plant.