A Rivers' Health Relies On The Stewardship Of The Communities Its' Waters Pass Through



Storm Drain Labeling Guidelines (pdf) - NJ DEP


Highlands Council Hears Developement Pitch - April 22, 2016 - NJ

Ringwood Dioxane Found More Widespread - March 3, 2016 -

Oil Trains Bridges Studied - November 12, 2015 -

Christie Vetoes Bill On Cleanup Funds - May 11, 2015 -

Governors Use Of Passaic River Money Opposed - October 7, 2014 -

Christie And Dems Shortchange Passaic River - September 21, 2014 -

Massive, $1.7B Cleanup Of Passaic River Proposed - April 11, 2014 -

Bill On Sewage Overflow Notification Dies - January 21, 2014 -

Dustup Over Passaic River Cleanup Funds - August 7, 2013 -

Wanaque Reservoir Plan Draws Criticism - July 3, 2013 -



See Something?     Smell Something?     Say Something.


     EPA: Report Spills and Environmental Violations       1.212.637.4050

     NJDEP: Report an Environmental Incident Hotline       1.877.927.6337



     How's My Waterway? Find Information About Local Waterways - EPA

     Surface Waters Quality Standards - NJDEP Water Monitoring and Standards

     New Jersey Environmental Laws - NJDEP N.J.A.C. Title 7

     Citizens Guide To Protecting Category One Waterways - Hackensack Riverkeeper

     NJDEP Volunteer Water Monitoring Programs Information

Organizations Working To Protect The Passaic River And Its' Tributaries


     Passaic River Coalition - an urban watershed association active since 1969 in protecting
     water quality and quantity of the entire Passaic River watershed of northern New Jersey
     and Rockland and Orange Counties, New York.

     Pequannock River Coalition - helping to restore and improve the ecosystems of
     the Pequannock and Wanaque Rivers and Watersheds.

     Great Swamp Watershed Association - dedicated to protecting and improving water
     resources in the region by monitoring local streams, advocating for intelligent land use,
     and educating our communities about water quality and quantity and their effect on the
     health and natural beauty of the local environment.

     Whippany River Watershed Action Committee - Stewards of the Watershed who have
     come together to preserve, protect and maintain the land and water resources of the
     watershed through broad-based community action, projects, on-going assessment,
     education and promotion of resource conservation.

     Greenwood Lake Commission - a bi-state commission that was formed in 2001 for the
     express purpose of improving the water quality of this beautiful lake.

     Hackensack Riverkeeper - The independent, non-governmental advocate for the
     Hackensack River. While primarily concerned with the Hackensack River this organization
     has the shared goal of cleaner waters and maintains a presence on the lower Passaic
     River through Newark Bay.

     American Rivers - A national organization dedicated to improvng the health of rivers
     and communities by ensuring clean water supplies, revitalizing fish and wildlife
     habitat, improving recreation, and leaving a legacy of healthy rivers for generations to come.

     River Network - Leading a national watershed protection movement that includes nearly
     2,000 state, regional and local grassroots organizations whose primary mission is to
     protect rivers and watersheds.

     Waterkeeper Alliance - Made up of more than 200 local Waterkeeper organizations
     Waterkeeper Alliance keeps Waterkeepers connected, provides them with legal, scientific
     and communications support, and unites their voices as they take on major global water
     issues together.


Stormwater and Runoff

One of the greatest threats to most rivers is storm water. The speed and amount of water leaving our developed properties is straining the capacity of our streams and rivers. The erosion of soils and scouring of stream banks cause a build up of sedimentation. Flooding has increased, and pollutants travel from our lawns, recreational fields, roads and parking lots straight into our waterways.

     NPDES Stormwater Program

     NJDEP - Stormwater

     Auto Fluids

     Storm Water Information - Township of Roxbury

During heavy rains the combined sewer system in Philadelphia often becomes overloaded and discharges raw sewage into the Schuykill and Deleware Rivers. To comply with EPA regulations the city is reducing the amount of rainwater entering it's storm drains to begin with through the use of permeable roads, rainbarrels, raingardens, vegetated roofs, new trees and new parks. This approach helps prevent rainfall from entering the waterways too quickly while providing a more natural level of filtration.

     Stormwater Plan Raises Eyebrows At EPA - December 24, 2009 - New York Times

     Street Smarts - October 2, 2011 - Time Magazine

     The Price Of Greening Stormwater - April 20, 2012 -

     Philadelphia Cleans Up Stormwater - June 6, 2012 - National Geographic

     Green Stormwater Infrastructure - Philadelphia Water Department

Reducing Runoff With Permeable Pavement

     Pervious Concrete Pavement - US EPA

     Porous Asphalt Pavement - US EPA

     Porous Paving - Philadelphia Water Department

     The Porous Road Less Traveled - January 3, 2012 -

     Permeable Paving - City of Chicago

     Pervious Pavement Projects - City of Portland

Reducing Runoff With Raingardens

     Rain Gardens - Rutgers Water Resources Program

     Rain Gardens - Wikipedia

     What Is A Rain Garden? - Rain Garden Network


Reducing Runoff With Rainbarrels

     Molly Ann Brook Rain Barrel Initiative -

     Water Resources Program / Rain Barrels - Rutgers

     Mid-Atlantic Region Green Landscaping - US EPA

     What Are The Benefits of Rain Barrels? - National Geographic


Reducing Runoff With Vegetated Roofs - Extensive vegetated roofs are designed to require little maintenance and are used on commercial flat roofed buildings for reducing runoff, increasing the insulation value and extending the life of the roofing material.
vegetated roofs are designed for being interacted with such as having lawns, gardens, large plants and trees.

     Green Roofs - Wikipedia

     Green Roofs - US EPA

     Extensive Vegatative Roofs - National Institute Of Building Sciences

     Vegetated Roofs - NJ Green Building Manual - Rutgers

     Green Roofs Slideshow - National Geographic

     Green Roofs In Big Cities Bring Relief From Above - May 23, 2012 - New York Times

Improper Disposal Practices

     In short if you don't want to drink it make sure it's recycled or disposed of properly.

     Guidelines For Proper Disposal of Household Medication (pdf)

     Association of New Jersey Household Hazardous Waste Coordinators

Pet Waste

     Transmits disease and contaminates our drinking water

     Pet Waste Management - US EPA

     What To Do With Doggy Doo - For Dummies Books

Septic Systems

     Have your septic tank emptied and system inspected periodically

     Septic Tank Maintenance -

     Septic Systems and Their Maintenance - University of Maryland

     Septic Systems and Their Maintenance - Soilfacts

     Source Water Protection (pdf) - National Environmental Services Center

Heating Oil Tanks

     Above ground tanks should be anchored well to prevent tipping, particularly in flood zones
     where they're subject to floating. All tanks should be inspected periodically for internal
     rusting before leaking occurs.

     Buried tanks should be inspected and system switched over to above ground when possible.

     The NJDEP has a Site Remediation Program to assist owners of an underground storage
     tank (UST) with removal and site remediation but is currently not accepting applications
     due to lack of funding.  

     NJDEP - Site Remediation Program for Underground Storage Tanks

     NJDEP - Underground Storage Tank Remediation, Upgrade and Closure Fund Notice

     Fund To Help Homeowners Runs Out Of Money - May 10, 2011 -

     Underground Storage Tank Flood Guide - November 2010 - EPA

Thermal Pollution

         Thermal Pollution - Wikipedia

Water Commissions

     New Jersey American Water

     Passaic Valley Water Commission

               Water Quality Report 2014

     North Jersey District Water Supply Commission

     River Pumping Proposal Sparks North Jersey Water War - May 27, 2012 -

     Wanaque Reservoir Plan Draws Criticism - July 3, 2013 -

Sewage Treatment Plants

        Sewage Treatment - Wikipedia

        Secondary Treatment Standards - EPA - National Pollution Discharge Elimination System

     Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission

     Pequannock River Basin Regional Sewerage Authority

     Wanaque Valley Regional Sewerage Authority

     Water Quality Trading Program - Rutgers Water Resources Program

     Water Quality Trading To Reduce Phosphorus Discharge From Treatment Plants

     Pollution In The Passaic - Stevens Institute of Technology

     Sewage Overflows From Hurricane Sandy - April 2013 -

     Passaic Valley Seeks 800M For Upgrades - July 9, 2013 -

Water Recycling
- Not quite as radical as you might initially think. Currently treated wastewater is released into the river only to be drawn into supply plants downstream where it's then treated again and pumped out to our faucets. This in itself might sound gross when you consider that at times the rivers flow can be as much as 80% treated wastewater. Continued developement and the increased demand for water may require this aproach.

     From Wastewater To Drinking Water - April 4, 2011 - Earth Institute / Columbia University

     Reuse of Municipal Wastewater - January 12, 2012 - National Research Council

     Reclaimed Wastewater For Drinking - January 31, 2012 - National Geographic

     Treated Wastewater Used For Drinking Supplies - February 9, 2012 - NY Times

     Science & Psychology Of Wastewater Recycling - January 28, 2013 -

     From Toilets To Tap - May 1, 2014 - 

Past Mistakes

 The Passaic River Fire (pdf) - June 3, 1918 - NY Times

Ringwood Mines & Landfill Superfund Site
, Peters Mine Road, Upper Ringwood:  During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the 500+ acre site in the Passaic River Watershed just north of Wanaque Reservoir was used for the disposal of paint sludge with high levels of arsenic, lead, benzene and other contaminants along with other wastes generated at the Ford Motor Company's Mahwah facility.

     Toxic Legacy: Ford And The Ramapoughs - Articles and Videos -

     Making A Wasteland: Ford, the Feds, the Mob - August 7, 2009 -

     Families Sue Ford Over Waste Dumping - September 2, 2009 -

     No End In Sight For Ford Cleanup - December 12, 2010 -

     Ford Settlement Leaves Disappointment - December 13, 2010 -

     Lead Found In Food Chain In Ringwood - December 16, 2010 -

     Group Hires Experts In Push For Cleanup - January 25, 2011 -

     New Plan For Ringwood Contaminated Site - November 9, 2013 -

     Promises Unravel At Ringwood Cleanup - December 19, 2015 -

     EPA Didn't Disclose Ringwood Contamination - February 23, 2016 -

     Dioxane Found To Be More Widespread - March 3, 2016 -

     Garrett Demands EPA Re-Evaluate Cleanup - April 25, 2016 -

     Judge To Decide On Ballot Question - September 2, 2016 -    

Dupont Pompton Lakes Works, Cannonball Road, Pompton Lakes: Explosives manufacturing started in 1886, owned by Dupont since 1902. Production of explosives generated various wastes disposed of on site including lead salts, mercury compounds, explosive powders, chlorinated solvents, waste wire drawing solution, and detonated blasting caps. Elevated levels of lead, mercury and chlorinated solvents have been recorded in Acid Brook which drains into Pompton Lake.

     Dupont -

     Dupont Pompton Lakes Works

     Public Health Assessment - Department of Health and Human Services Report

     Dupont Acid Brook Suit - Attorney Articles - Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer P.A.

     Citizens For A Clean Pompton Lakes

     Pompton Lakes Community Advisory Group

     Pollution May Threaten Our Reservoirs - August 7, 2009 -

     Higher Rates of Cancer In Pompton Lakes - December 10, 2009 -

     Dupont Pompton Lakes Remediation Fact Sheet - January 20, 2010 - NJ DEP

     Old Story of Pollution; New Urgency This Time - January 31, 2010 - NY Times

     Cancer Cases Elevated In Pompton Lakes - August 15, 2011 -

     EPA Pledges Accelerated Cleanup - January 12, 2012 -

     Pompton Lake Pollution May Be Headed Downstream - January 26, 2012 - PEER

     Feds To OK Dupont Cleanup Plan - August 1, 2012 -

     Groups Urge Superfund Listing of Dupont Site - August 2, 2012 -

     Dupont To Study Anaerobic Bioremediation - August 27, 2012 -

     Feds Seeking Damages Against Dupont - November 27, 2014 -

     Fears Of Dupont Shirking Cleanup - January 31, 2015 -

     Dupont Pollution Legacy Looms Large - December 14, 2015 -

     Pollution Threat Level Being Reassessed - August 13, 2015 -


Topsoil Depot, Pompton Plains Crossroads, Wayne: Stored kaofin, a gray, claylike waste byproduct of paper recycling on site for blending into the soil they sold. The practice was approved by the DEP but not in a floodplain, as is the case with Topsoil Depot, situated at the confluence of the Ramapo, Pequannock and Pompton rivers. The site is contaminated with low levels of PCB's, dioxin and heavy metals.

     Topsoil Depot Owner Faces Jail Threat - April 29, 2011 -

     Toxic Dump Hits Bump In Road Towards Trial - November 15, 2011 -

     Agreement Reached On Cleanup Of Wayne Site - May 8, 2012 -

     Contaminated Soil Has Yet To Be Removed - May 30, 2013 -

     Cleanup At Top Soil Depot Set To Resume - June 24, 2014 -

W.R. Grace Company
, Black Oak Ridge Road, Wayne: From 1948 to 1971, W.R. Grace produced Thorium, a radioactive element, in connection with the manufacture of optical quality polishing powder. A 1980 aerial survey showed elevated radiation levels on the banks of Sheffield Brook which drains into the Pompton River.

     Site History / Description (pdf)

     Department of Justice Release

     Superfund Site Progress Profile


EC Electroplating Company, Clark Street, Garfield: In December 1983 thousands of pounds of hexavalent chromium leaked from a tank at the factory that stood on Clark Street in Garfield. The substance has since traveled from the site underneath the Passaic River and into the city of Passaic.

     A Neighborhood In Peril - November 22, 2011 -

     Toenail Testing To Commence In Garfield - January 15, 2013 -

     Toenail Clippings to Measure Toxic Exposure in NJ - March 24, 2013 - Associated Press

     Scientist Takes First Steps To Measure Contamination - April 21, 2013 -

     Lawmakers Push For Cleanup Funding - December 14, 2015 -


Diamond Alkali Company , Lister Avenue, Newark: Manufactured pesticides and herbicides including the defolient Agent Orange. River sediment has been contaminated with dioxin, PCB's, mercury, DDT and heavy metals among other substances. While Diamond Alkali is the most notorious of the companies that polluted the lower Passaic they weren't the only ones. The Lower Passaic River Cooperating Parties Group represents many of the companies involved. The Passaic River Directive listed below goes into more detail of the companies and the pollutants.

     Lower Passaic River Resoration Project - EPA

     Lower Passaic River Restoration Project -

     Damage Assessment Plan (pdf) - November 2007

     EPA Signs Agreement With Companies (pdf) - June 2008

     Passaic River Directive, Natural Resource Injury Assessment - September 19, 2008 - EPA

     Chemical Company Must Help Pay For Cleanup - July 26, 2011 -

     The Muck Stops Here - February 13, 2012 - New Jersey Monthly

     Towns To Hear About River Cleanup Case - June 5, 2012 - New Providence

     Attempted Murder Of The Passaic - April 14, 2013 - Tom Moran / The Star Ledger

     Superfund Cleanup Stirs Troubled Waters - August 13, 2012 - NY Times

     Cleanup Begins On Heavily Polluted Passaic - July 29, 2013 -

     Dustup Over Passaic River Cleanup Funds - August 7, 2013 -

     Stretch Of Passaic To Be Cleaned Of Contaminents - August 7, 2013 -

     Removal Of Contaminated Mud from Lyndhurst - August 7, 2013 -

     Argument Over Intent Of Settlement Monies - August 15, 2013 -

     Massive, $1.7B Cleanup Of Passaic River Proposed - April 11, 2014 -

     Christie And Dems Shortchange Passaic River - September 21, 2014 -

     Governors Use Of Passaic River Money Opposed - October 7, 2014 -



     Watershed Assessment, Tracking and Environmental Results - EPA
                  (Select Hackensack-Passaic from watershed dropdown list)

     Water Management Area 3 Summary - November 2002 - Montclair State University

     Water Management Area 4 Summary - November 2002 - Montclair State University

     Water Management Area 6 Summary - November 2002 - Montclair State University

     Historical And Current Ecology Of The Lower Passaic - December 2004 - Urban Habitats

     Reviving The Passaic - February 18, 2009 - NJ Monthly

     Passaic River Fish Tested For Toxins - August 26, 2009 -

     The Dirty Truth About That Other Jersey Shore - NPR - November 19, 2010

     Passaic Suffers Latest In History Of Setbacks - October 14, 2012  -


Related Links

     Pollution Testing And Debris Removal For Passaic River - June 12, 2011 -

     Take me To The River: On The Passaic - August 14, 2011 -

     Five Reasons To Clean Up The Passaic River - April 14, 2013 -

     Pequannock Township Environmental Commission

Care To Help?

     Passaic River Stewards Training Program

     EPA Grant For Passaic River Stewardship Program - December 4, 2007 - EPA Release

     Monitoring And Assessing Water Quality - Volunteer Monitoring - US EPA

     Volunteer Monitoring - NJ DEP

     NJ Volunteer Water Monitoring Programs

     Great Swamp Watershed Association Volunteer Monitoring Program

     NJ Audubon Society Volunteer Monitoring Program

     NJ Community Water Watch Volunteer Monitoring Program

     NJ Watershed Ambassadors Program Volunteer Monitoring Program

     Pequannock River Coalition Volunteer Monitoring Program

     Passaic River Institute Volunteer Monitoring Program

     Trout Unlimited of East Jersey Volunteer Monitoring Program


Basic and Advanced Physical and Chemical Monitoring




     Dissolved Oxygen

     Stream Flow






     Secchi Transparency

     Total Disolved Solids

     Total Suspended Solids


     Water Level

     Water Temperature

Biological Monitoring

     Habitat Assessments

     Fecal Bacteria

     Macro Invertebrates

     Terrestrial Vegetation

Additional Activities

     Construction Site Inspections

     Shoreline Debris Cleanup

     Debris Monitoring

     Land Use Surveys

     Photographic Surveys

     Pipe Surveys (pdf) - US EPA


     Storm Drain Stenciling (pdf) - NJ DEP

Test It Yourself Water Test Kits

     Basic Test Kit

     Listing of Advanced Test Kit Suppliers

     Hach Stream Survey Test Kit

Mail-In Sample Water Testing

     Test Kit Express Water Test Kit


























 highlands council



 Lower Passaic Cooperating Parties





















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