Departments & Services > Health Services > Environmental Health > Water


Hackensack River

Water Systems

Within Bergen County there are:

  • 22 public community water systems serving the same people year-round (e.g., in homes or businesses)
  • 6 non-transient non-community water systems serving the same people, but not year-round (e.g., schools with their own water system)
  • 31 transient non-community water systems that do not consistently serve the same people (e.g. rest stops, campgrounds, gas stations)

Surface Water

Surface water provides:

  • Habitats for aquatic life
  • Food (e.g., fish and shellfish)
  • Recreation opportunities (e.g., boating and swimming)
  • Resources for industrial uses
  • Drinking water within the county

The quality of our surface water in rivers, lakes, wetlands, and estuaries often depends on activities that take place within the watersheds.


Watersheds are those land areas that catch rain or snow and drain to specific marches, streams, lakes, or to ground water. Bergen County is served by the:

  • Hackensack River Watershed
  • Lower Passaic River Watershed
  • Lower Hudson River Watershed
  • Pascack Creek Watershed
  • Ramapo River Watershed
  • Saddle River Watershed

These areas are designated as Principal Watersheds of New Jersey by the NJDEP. These watersheds fall within three Watershed Management Areas (WMAs). The three WMAs within Bergen County are WMA-3, WMA-4, and WMA-5.

Safe Drinking Water

The Wellhead Protection Program protects public non-community water sources. Public non-community wells may serve schools, diners, swim clubs and parks. The program received a NJ DEP grant to continue to gather detailed information pertaining to public non-community wells in the year 2001. Additionally, wellhead protection areas were modified to meet the new NJ DEP standard.

Water Pollution

Many environmental programs are under the umbrella of water pollution prevention. In the Water Pollution Program, illegal discharges into surface water are identified as a result of complains, and corrective actions are taken.

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