Passaic County golf course water well used by Paterson families for clean water permanently shuts down | Paterson Times

Passaic County golf course water well used by Paterson families for clean water permanently shuts down


The water well at the Preakness Valley Golf Course used by a number of Paterson families to avoid drinking lead contaminated tap water is being permanently shut down.

“After consultation with the Passaic County Departments of Buildings and Grounds, Parks and Recreation, and Health, it was determined that it was no longer financially feasible to operate the water well located at the Preakness Valley Golf Course,” said Passaic County administrator Anthony DeNova in a statement on Friday morning. “It was not financially practical to make what we considered to be necessary upgrades to the well facility.”

The well had been closed for the past two to three months due to issues related to the structure housing the well pump, according to county officials and cardholders. County officials at the golf course told cardholders the well would be repaired in a few weeks, according to several cardholders interviewed for this report.

Keith Furlong, a spokesman for the Passaic County government, said the repair cost for the well exceeds $10,000. He said the golf course has 2,813 members, but this did not include well access permit cardholders.

Furlong did not have statistics on the number of well access cardholders.

Mohammed Rafique, a cardholder, who lives off of West Broadway, estimates there are few hundred families in Paterson that use the well to obtain safe drinking water.

Rafique, who has two children, said he’s been using the well at the golf course to fill water containers for the past four years.

“The tap water turns red if left inside a glass for a while,” said Rafique. He said he has been buying bottled water for his family for the past few months since the well was taken offline.

Another cardholder, Mohammed Hanan, who lives across the street from John F. Kennedy High School, said he couldn’t understand why the county was shutting down the well. “Why don’t they fix it? We vote for them without asking for much,” he said referring to the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Hanan said he purchased a card paying $50 a year to save on the amount of money he spent on bottled water. Since the well closure he has been spending almost $100 a month on bottled water for drinking and cooking, he said.

“Drinking this water is unsafe,” said Hanan referring to tap water. He installed a filter on his kitchen faucet, but it requires a replacement head every two months. He said filter heads run for $25.

Passaic County freeholder Theodore “TJ” Best said he was under the impression the county planned to fix the well. When told of the county administrator’s announcement the well would close permanently, he said: “This is the first time I’m hearing about it.”

The county is offering refunds to those who have purchased water permit cards by visiting the clubhouse at the golf course. Hanan and Rafique said they are not looking for a refund, but simply want the county to fix the well.

“They need to help us,” said Rafique.

Email: [email protected]

Correction: A previous version of this report erroneously stated Theodore “TJ” Best was the director of the Passaic County Freeholder Board. Cassandra “Sandi” Lazzara is the director. Best is a freeholder from Paterson.

  • MarquinhoGaucho

    I really think that the number of Paterson residents coming to wayne was a deciding factor

    • Mohammed Abuassi

      A smart bet I would say.

    • Mohammed Abuassi

      Smart money would surely bet on that being the case.

  • Mohammed Abuassi

    Dear Writer,

    Please inform the press, "TJ" Best, and the Passaic County administrator that I am prepared to offer the full $10,000 payment for repairs of the well, but then would require a part ownership of the yearly membership fees. Surely, they would be prepared to do that, I assume, maintaining that they really are interested and sincere about repairing the well for the community's well-being.

    My name is Mohammed Abuassi, I am a PharmD Candidate of 2018, and a resident of Passaic County. I will willingly provide a phone number if contacted and will follow-up accordingly.

    As a future health professional and humanitarian, I believe that people are entitled to access to clean drinking water, and am prepared to put my money where my mouth is(unlike our elected officials).

    Mohammed Abuassi, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, BScPhm

  • George Roa

    Agree with your 'deciding factor' opinion. That is what happens when you abuse a perk. People were coming with mini vans full water bottles and people, hogging the lines, and creating a big mess. Years ago everybody was considerate and civil about getting water. Now everybody got screwed. This water was so deliscious and pure