Recorder Recorder Recorder Toms River


Summary of Findings

Historical Reconstruction of the Water-Distribution System Serving the Dover Township Area, New Jersey:

January 1962 - December 1996

Morris L. Maslia, M. Jason B. Sautner, Mustafa M. Aral, Juan J. Reyes, Richard E. Gillig, and Robert C. Williams


The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS), with support from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), is conducting an epidemiologic study of childhood cancers in Dover Township, Ocean County, New Jersey. In 1996, ATSDR and NJDHSS developed a Public Health Response Plan in cooperation with the Ocean County Health Department and the Citizens’ Action Committee on Childhood Cancer Cluster. The plan outlines a series of public health activities including assessments of potential environmental exposures in the community. In 1997, ATSDR and NJDHSS determined that an epidemiologic study was warranted, and that the study would include assessments of the potential for exposure to specific drinking-water sources.

To assist the epidemiologic efforts, ATSDR developed a work plan to reconstruct historical characteristics of the water-distribution system serving the Dover Township area by using water-distribution system modeling techniques. The numerical model chosen for this effort, EPANET 2, is available in the public domain and is described in the scientific literature. To test the reliability of model simulations, water-distribution system data specific to the Dover Township area were needed to compare with model results. Lacking such data, a field-data collection effort was initiated to obtain pressure measurements, storage-tank water levels, and system operation schedules (the on-and-off cycling of wells and pumps) during winter-demand (March 1998) and peak-demand (August 1998) operating conditions. Using these data, the water-distribution system model was calibrated to present-day (1998) conditions. ATSDR released a report and a technical paper in June 2000 describing the field-data collection activities and model calibration results.

Having established the reliability of the model and the modeling approach, the model was used to examine (or reconstruct) historical characteristics of the water-distribution system. For this purpose, monthly simulations were conducted from January 1962 through December 1996 to estimate the proportionate contribution of water from points of entry (well or well fields) to various locations throughout the Dover Township area.

This summary of findings was developed to provide an overview of the historical reconstruction analysis conducted by ATSDR and NJDHSS. A full description of the analysis is forthcoming in a comprehensive report. For the historical period, the following topics are presented in the full report: (1) data sources and requirements, (2) methods of analysis, (3) simulation approaches, (4) selected simulation results of the historical reconstruction analysis, and (5) the use of sensitivity analysis to address issues of uncertainty and variability of historical system operations. Readers interested in details of the historical reconstruction methodology, simulation approaches, or results for specific years and locations for the Dover Township area should refer to the full report that is available over the Internet at the ATSDR Web site at URL:

The summary report is available to view in ".pdf" format in this site: Summary report.