NJ Gov signs legislation to better protect major water treatment plant

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VOORHEES, NJ, Aug. 11, 2014 -- On Friday, Aug. 8, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation authorizing $31.5 million in state financing to raise the existing floodwall at Raritan Millstone Water Treatment Plant -- New Jersey American Water's largest water treatment plant -- by four feet to withstand even a 500-year flood.

The funding is part of the $1.28-billion bill that is aimed at financing for much-needed improvements to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the state.

The plant serves more than one million people in seven counties; provides water to five large public water systems; and serves as an emergency source of water for the cities of Newark and Trenton.

During late August 2011, Hurricane Irene struck the East Coast, and its flood waters came within an inch of breaching the plant's flood wall, which could have resulted in an estimated regional economic loss of more than $1.8 billion.

In signing the legislation, Christie said, "There can be no compromises in protecting the viability, integrity and resiliency of the state's water-supply and wastewater systems, especially in areas that are vulnerable to floods."

“Hurricanes Irene and Sandy both challenged the resiliency of regional water systems,” said William M. Varley, president of New Jersey American Water. "Raising the floodwall at our Raritan Millstone Water Treatment Plant by four feet is a multi-million dollar undertaking."

The legislation provides New Jersey American Water, among others, with a low-cost loan from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT), an independent state financing agency, in partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

See also:

"Flood wall installed at SMUD net-zero energy facility"

"NASA satellites detect possible disastrous flooding months in advance, finds research"


About New Jersey American Water

New Jersey American Water, a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.5 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 40 states, as well as parts of Canada. For more information, visit www.amwater.com.

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