NJ’s Failing Water Systems - New York News

NJ’s Failing Water Systems

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Passaic, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

The next big crisis facing New Jersey will be the cost of upgrading its aging water infrastructure. This refers to any channel that is used to get water to and from your home and businesses. Right now, 20% of New Jersey’s entire water system pipes are over 100 years old.

New Jersey’s water systems are in a critical state of disrepair. Along the Passaic River the evidence is clear and the broken-down state of New Jersey’s water infrastructure can be seen at every bend of the river. Damaged pipes, old waste management systems, and overburdened water runoff systems have wreaked havoc on the waterways.

Writer and activist Wheeler Antabanez who often boats down this river said, “You get everything that’s on the street, bottles, hypodermic needles, anything that’s on the street gets washed into the river.”

Daniel J. Van Abs, Ph.D., an Associate Research Professor at Rutgers, said that Newark alone, has requested $500 million just to address critical water repairs. This money isn’t even to replace anything, just fix it. Current reporting is not accounting for improvements and upgrades; it is simply money to temporarily mend the problem.

Bill Wolfe, of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, believes the problems are far worse. He claims that New Jersey has not responsibly addressed climate change and the risk of damaging storms like Hurricane Sandy into future water plans.

According to DEP Commissioner Martin’s testimony after Hurricane Sandy, 400 of New Jersey’s drinking water infrastructures were impacted by the devastation of that storm. 70 of those systems were in major communities and 94 treatment plants were also damaged.

Facing our Future, an independent, nonpartisan group led by 20 former government officials and public servants, emphasized the choices and priorities New Jersey faces in regards to its infrastructure. They estimate that New Jersey needs to spend $40.7 billion over the next five to 20 years to replace aging pipes that leak millions of gallons in treated water and to preserve open space needed to protect drinking water supplies

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