Water treatment issues in New Jersey to be addressed

Oct. 13, 2010
TRENTON, NJ, Oct. 13, 2010 -- NJ DEP Commissioner Bob Martin, Trenton Mayor Tony Mack and Trenton Water Works officials met yesterday afternoon at the DEP to discuss how to best tackle challenges faced by Trenton Water Works...

TRENTON, NJ, Oct. 13, 2010 -- NJ DEP Commissioner Bob Martin, Trenton Mayor Tony Mack and Trenton Water Works officials met yesterday afternoon at the DEP to discuss how to best tackle challenges faced by Trenton Water Works, as well as to examine events which led to last week's precautionary boil water advisory for much of the utility's service area, all in an effort to prevent future occurrences.

"I am pleased by the Mayor's eagerness to address concerns about the operations of the Trenton Water Works," said Commissioner Martin. "I want to emphasize again that the order for last week's boil water advisory was precautionary, that no untreated water left the plant, and that all of the tests showed the water was safe to drink. At the same time, Trenton Water Works must work not only to ensure continued high-quality drinking water but also to restore public confidence to its customers."

Last week, Trenton, Ewing, Lawrence, and parts of Hopewell west of Route 31 were under a precautionary boil water advisory due to a drop in water pressure; Trenton Water Works service is now fully restored.

After discussing the events of last week and identifying areas of Trenton Water Works operations that can be improved, Commissioner Martin and Mayor Mack agreed upon the following:

* Trenton Water Works will prepare a formal report to the DEP of last week's events by November 4;
* Another meeting date between the utility's staff and DEP water division staff is being set, at which time the Department will offer additional specific recommendations;
* The City of Trenton will secure an independent expert to conduct a thorough evaluation of the Trenton Water Works, including but not limited to operations, personnel, skills training, protocols;
* The City of Trenton will update its Emergency Response Plan and Trenton Water Works will update its Operations Plan to ensure clear and timely communications with municipalities and the public;
* DEP Assistant Commissioner John Plonski will oversee the Department's efforts to coordinate with Trenton Water Works.

"I appreciate that Commissioner Martin and the DEP water division staff have gone out of their way to offer their expertise and recommendations for Trenton Water Works. I am committed to working closely with the Commissioner to ensure best practices at Trenton Water Works," said Mayor Mack.

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