U.S. Water News Online
TRENTON, N.J. —Better wastewater treatment plants have resulted in improved water quality in New Jersey, but problems caused by development are increasing, according to a draft of a state report.
The study from the state Department of Environmental Protection finds that nutrient levels in many of the state's waterways have stabilized or improved.
The report finds that since the 1980s, dissolved oxygen conditions have improved because of wastewater treatment plant upgrades.
But only 7.2 percent of the 472 locations studies for the report were found to be completely acceptable for swimming and other uses.
Some areas of concern include Barnegat Bay, where there are problems with nutrient pollution.
Other places are still dealing with old problems — remnants of the banned pesticides DDT and chlordane were found in sediment in a handful of creeks and rivers, including Cheesequake Creek and the Shark River estuary.
Many of the growing water problems are coming in
The report points out that 900,000 more residents are expected in the state by 2020 — something that could mean more fertilizer and pet waste runoff, among other problems.
“You see that more streams are showing impacts from pollution, so it shows that sprawl is getting worse,” Jeff Tittel, director of the Sierra Club's New Jersey chapter, told The Asbury Park Press.
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