Important Information About Your Drinking Water

June 28, 2022

The notice below about the PFNA level in the City is important to be aware of, but it does not call for the City to declare an emergency. While this is a serious matter and could become even more serious if not corrected, the City officials have taken steps to lower and eliminate the PFNA immediately. The City has already received a quote for a filtration system that will temporarily resolve the issue and we are looking into more involved permanent solutions. A temporary system can be installed relatively quickly.

Please keep in mind that the PFNA levels are tested quarterly and this is the first time that the levels in the City water have been considered “above a drinking water standard”.

Thank you

City of Salem Water System Has Levels of Perfluorononanoic Acid (PFNA) Above A Drinking Water Standard

Our water system recently violated a New Jersey drinking water standard, and as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation.

We routinely monitor for the presence of federal and state regulated drinking water contaminants. New Jersey adopted a standard, or maximum contaminant level (MCL), for PFNA in 2018 and monitoring began for City of Salem Water System in 2021. The MCL for PFNA is 0.013 micrograms per liter (µg/L) and is based on a running annual average (RAA), in which the
four most recent quarters of monitoring data are averaged. On 6/3/2022, we received notice that the sample collected on 5/11/2022 showed that our system exceeds the PFNA MCL. The RAA for PFNA based on samples collected over the last year is 0.014 µg/L.

What is PFNA?
Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) is a member of the group of chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), that are man-made and used in industrial and commercial applications. PFNA has been historically used as a processing aid in the manufacturing of highperformance plastics that are resistant to harsh chemicals and high temperatures. Major sources of PFNA in drinking water include discharge from industrial facilities where it was made or used. Although the use of PFNA has decreased substantially, contamination is expected to continue indefinitely because it is extremely persistent in the environment and is soluble and mobile in water.

What does this mean?
*People who drink water containing PFNA in excess of the MCL over time could experience problems with their liver; kidney; immune system; or, in males, reproductive system. For females, drinking water containing PFNA in excess of the MCL over time may cause developmental delays in a fetus and/or an infant.

What should I do?

  • If you have specific health concerns, a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant, or are elderly, you may be at higher risk than other individuals and should seek advice from your health care providers about drinking this water.
  • The New Jersey Department of Health advises that infant formula and other beverages for infants, such as juice, should be prepared with bottled water when PFNA is elevated in drinking water.
  • Pregnant, nursing, and women considering having children may choose to use bottled water for drinking and cooking to reduce exposure to PFNA.
  • Other people may also choose to use bottled water for drinking and cooking to reduce exposure to PFNA.
  • Boiling your water will not remove PFNA.

For more information, see

What is being done?
The City of Salem has hired Remington and Vernick Engineers to address the high levels of PFNA in the finished water. It is the intent to provide treatment to remove the PFNA from the water being delivered to the residents of the City of Salem. We anticipate instituting short term filtration measures within 60 to 90 days and resolving the problem long term in 12 months. Testing is done on a quarterly basis, and this is first time the running annual average is above the standard.

For more information, please contact the Salem Water Department Main Office, at (856) 935-0350 or email or mail us at City of Salem Water Dept., 17 New Marker Street, Salem NJ 08079.

Copies regarding additional information on PFNA will also be available in the City Hall Annex at 17 New Market Street, Salem.

*Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail. *

This notice is being sent to you by City of Salem Water Department. State Water System ID# NJ1712001.

Date distributed: 6-24-22

Download More Information on the PFAS (PDF)