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  • Writer's pictureDelaney Smith

Town’s water quality and noise complaints discussed at council

courtesy photo

HAMMONTON—A presentation regarding the safety of Hammonton’s water supply system was given during the town council meeting on Nov. 27 at town hall.

Hammonton’s water supply system consists of five active groundwater supply wells, two water storage towers and a water distribution piping network. Water is treated and transported from the supply wells to the piping network or stored in one of the water towers.

To test the water, samples are taken from treated samples from each well in the town. They are then tested and broken down into if there are any organic, inorganic or pathogenic substances in the water, sometimes measuring these substances’ presences down to the micromillimeter.

Dr. Raymond A. Ferrara, who gave the presentation and compiled the evidence regarding the quality of Hammonton’s water supply, drew data from water tests as far back as 2021.

Hammonton’s drinking water has consistently stayed under the limits for the vast majority of water tests, including those for polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS (better known as forever chemicals), lead and copper and pathogenic organisms like E. coli.

All data regarding the water quality of Hammonton’s systems are available online in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. The online portal, called the New Jersey Drinking Water Watch, contains data from water systems all over the state.

“It’s all reported in the Drinking Water Watch,” Ferrara said, referring to the public database of drinking water quality reports. “The data for Hammonton—as well as any other drinking water purveyor—will be there and available for public viewing.”

Private wells were not tested. The only data received were from public water sources. Citizens who have a private well should look into getting them tested, especially because these wells can have higher concentrations of nitrates that could be harmful at high concentrations, Ferrara said.

During the second portion of the meeting where the public was allowed to be heard by the Town Council on any matter, Cherie Calletta, a resident of Elm Street, voiced concern about the noise ordinance and how up-to-date it is.

She said that there is a house on Third Street that blasts music loudly at all hours of the day. The noise is so intensely loud that she said her windows rattle nearly two blocks away when they turn it on.

“I just wish the airwaves in Little Italy were as clean as the water,” Calletta said.

She said that the police are routinely called on this house. Since the music is technically played outside of the hours outlined in the noise ordinance, the police are unable to meaningfully act on the noise problem.

The ordinance provides that loud noises that disturb the public are not allowed between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weekdays, and 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekends. Since these noise complaints are happening during daylight hours, there is no legal action that can be taken on the house.

Calletta said that she was at the meeting on behalf of her neighbors, who are older residents. She claimed that, should herself or her neighbors put their houses up on the market, they would be unable to sell because of the noise coming from Third Street.

Calletta suggested taking a noise ordinance from Bridgewater, N.J. as a reference for how to revise and improve Hammonton’s noise ordinance. That ordinance is highly specific and includes provisions to measure specific sound decibels inside and outside residences and appoint noise officers, among other things.

Mayor Stephen DiDonato said that he would work with Law and Order and Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel to potentially revise the ordinance and update it to be more reflective of the needs of Hammonton residents.

The next town council meeting is scheduled for Dec. 18 at town hall.


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