Gov. Christie Signs Legislation to Protect Water Treatment Plants

An amount of $1.3 billion has been authorized to help raise the floodwalls of New Jerseys largest water treatment plants to the level that can withstand “500 year flood.”

The plant provides water supply to 7 counties and also serves as an emergency source of water for Trendon and Newark. Some months ago, Irene’s floods were just within an inch of breaking the existing flood wall which could have caused an economic loss worth more than $1.6 billion.

The funding is part of money which had been set aside to finance waste water infrastructure projects and drinking water systems across the entire state.

“There cannot be a compromise in protecting the integrity, viability, resilience and security of state’s water as well as waste-waters systems, especially in places which experience high level of vulnerability to floods,” said Gov.Christie.

“Hurricanes Sandy and Irene provided a tough challenge to the resilience of our regional water systems,” said William Varley who is the President of New Jersey American water.

“Raising the floodwall at our treatment plants is a multi million dollar investment and we are very grateful for the financial assistance which has been provided by the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust and EPA,” added William.

The legislation which the governor signed helps to provide New Jersey American Water among other bodies with low cost financing from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT), which is an independent financing agency owned by the state and which works in partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection.

“We are proud to be part of the New Jersey recovery from the devastation which was caused by Sandy,” said David Zimmer, NJEIT Executive Director.

All these projects are of paramount importance to our state and help to provide our people with thousands of job opportunities.

The hurricane Sandy affected 100 waste water plants which was serving about 3.6 million people spread all over the state.

The Passaic-Valley Sewerage-Commission was hard hit because it was forced to shut down, therefore cutting water supply to more than 1.4 million people.

There are many other plants that lost their pumping capacity, therefore inconveniencing many people who depended on water supplies from the affected plants.

Moreover, about 70% of community water supply infrastructure lost power and so it wasn’t possible to pump water to the recipients. Some areas had to receive boil water advisories because there was possible contamination of their water supplies. This also caused a scare among many people.

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