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Health Indicator Report of Drinking Water: Self-Reported Water Quality, Use of Filters, or Purchase of Bottled Water

Water is used for many purposes including drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning, and recreation. Because water use is so common in daily life, there are many opportunities for contaminated water to impact people. New Jersey has over 600 community water systems which provide drinking water to approximately 87% of the State's population. However, about 13 percent of New Jersey residents obtain their drinking water from private wells.


Survey Question: "How would you describe the quality of your water: excellent, very good, acceptable, or poor?".

Data Source

Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, Center for Health Statistics, New Jersey Department of Health, []

Data Interpretation Issues

Data from the New Jersey Behavioral Risk Factor Survey are intended to represent non-institutionalized adults in households with telephones. Data are collected using a random sample of all possible telephone numbers throughout New Jersey. Prior to analysis, data are weighted to represent the population distribution of adults by age, sex, and "race"/ethnicity. The denominator used for the calculation of these estimates includes all survey respondents except those with missing, don't know, and refused answers. As with all surveys, however, some residual bias may result from non-response (e.g., refusal to participate in the survey or to answer specific questions) and measurement error (e.g., social desirability or recall). Attempts are made to minimize such error by use of a strict calling protocol (up to 15 calls are made to reach each household), good questionnaire design, standardization of interviewer behavior, interviewer training, and frequent, on-site interviewer monitoring and supervision.


Percent of NJ residents self-reporting water quality by category, and use of filters or bottled water.


Number of people age 18 years and older self-reporting quality of water by category, and use of filters or bottled water.


Total number of persons aged 18 and older interviewed during the same survey period.

What Is Being Done?

Public water suppliers are required by law to monitor for regulated contaminants based on type of water system and water source, and ensure the water meets state and federal Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs). The test results are sent to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). If the level of any regulated contaminant is above the MCL, additional samples are taken to confirm that a problem exists. The supplier of that water is then required to eliminate the problem by changing to another water source or by improving water treatment. The NJDEP inspects community drinking water systems and evaluates their monitoring reports for compliance with the standards. Noncompliance with a standard can result in a violation. NJDEP works with systems to ensure they notify the public and return to compliance.

Available Services

If your drinking water comes from a community water system: You can get the most recent test results for your water system by contacting your water supplier or by accessing Drinking WaterWatch available here: [] The NJDEP Bureau of Safe Drinking Water is responsible for ensuring public water systems satisfy federal and state drinking water standards and the other provisions of the Federal and State Safe Drinking Water Acts. Contact the NJDEP Bureau of Safe Drinking Water Technical Assistance at (609) 292-5550, or [] If your drinking water comes from a private well: You are responsible for testing. The NJDEP recommends that you use a laboratory that is NJDEP-certified. You can call the NJDEP Office of Quality Assurance at (609) 292-3950 for information on laboratories certified to test drinking water or obtain information online at: [] using the "Search by Category" option, select "Certified Laboratories", and search for "Certified Drinking Water Labs", "PWTA Laboratories Certified for Sampling", or "Laboratories Certified by Parameter". Well testing is required prior to the sale of residential real estate when a private well is the source of drinking water. For more information, contact the NJDEP Private Well Testing Program at (866) 479-8378 or visit: [] Private Well Testing Act Frequently Asked Questions: [] NJ Private Well Testing Act Data Summary, by county, municipality, and 2 mile by 2 mile grid: [] NJDOH, Drinking Water Facts: Private Wells, [] NJDOH Drinking Water and Public Health Project, []
Page Content Updated On 07/18/2022, Published on 07/18/2022
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 16 April 2024 16:52:57 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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