New Jersey water quality laws to be reviewed

David Madden
August 17, 2019 - 4:00 am
Pouring Fresh Tap Water Into a Glass

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TRENTON, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — The New Jersey legislature will hold public hearings in the fall on the quality of water delivered by utilities throughout the state

The Water Quality Accountability Act has been on the books for two years now and state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester County) says systems are working to make sure their water is safe to drink.

“There’s a whole scenario of reporting that’s necessary to get in compliance,” he said. “We know a lot of communities are working towards it, but while they’re working towards it there are several that are not in compliance right now. About half are in half are out right now.”

Which doesn’t necessarily mean the water’s unsafe. But with word that part of Newark’s system has lead in the water, there are concerns statewide. So there’ll be hearings into improving the act’s requirements to make sure, if nothing else, people know what’s in the water coming out of the tap.

“New Jersey has a lot of water,” Chris Sturm, an official with the group New Jersey Future, told reporters at a Trenton news conference. “But, unfortunately, we’re finding that problems are occurring from water once it leaves the treatment plant and travels into the home.”

That would include leaks and ruptures in those pipes, some of which are more than a century old.

“We’re not finger pointing here, said state Senator Troy Singleton (D-Burlington County) who will chair public hearings in the fall. “We’re not looking at going back to revisit history. We’re at a position where we have to find solutions.”

There’s 655 million dollars in the state budget to help rid utilities of lead pipes that deliver water…in some cases a century or more old. The problem? Billions are needed and officials say the feds will have to step up and help.