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Ridgewood Apologizes For Lack Of News After Chlorine Found In Water

Village of Ridgewood
Village of Ridgewood Photo Credit: Rebecca Abma

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – Ridgewood Water should have done a better job informing customers about an increase in the chlorine level in water, village officials said Wednesday.

"There is nothing that suggests that there was a hazardous public health issue…….however, what I believe could have been done better is a customer service issue and that is more effective communication with our residents," Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld told residents.

"Although technically and legally communications were handled well within guidelines, we should be better than that," she added. "And I apologize for that. We did conduct a post mortem this morning with all staff involved and have identified steps in the communication process that can be strengthened including making sure that the correct Ridgewood employee is conducting the communications and that we are quicker to notify the public."

Sonenfeld said at its highest some point Monday and Tuesday, Ridgewood’s water was running at 5 parts per million.

"Our wells are set to shut down at 3.5 parts per million. Chlorine begins to impact taste and smell at 2 parts per million," she wrote. "DEP guidelines set 4 parts per million as the maximum residual. EPA guidelines require notification to consumers within 30 days."

The increased chlorine level was a result of two issues at the Twinney Water Treatment Facility and impacted homes served by that facility.

"The first issue was that a pump failed and the second was that the automatic notification and shut down the well was also not operational," she said. "Since it is impractical to identify the exact limits of the affected area, the entire Village community was notified as a precaution."

Ridgewood Water followed all necessary DEP and EPA protocol, Sonenfeld told residents.

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