Today the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) initiated direct oversight of Trenton Water Works (TWW), after last week’s request by Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning and other local mayors and elected officials, to improve TWW’s administration and assist in securing its future performance. Water delivered from TWW has remained safe, but there are urgent concerns that the ongoing maintenance needed to preserve the water supply is not being completed.
TWW is the public water system owned by the City of Trenton. It serves parts of Hopewell Township, Hamilton, Lawrence, and Ewing, in addition to Trenton. It is self-funded. The NJDEP conducts water testing and regular inspections of the facility to ensure the water is safe to drink and that TWW is compliant with state and federal water safety laws. The NJDEP has determined that conditions exist at TWW that could present a substantial threat to the health of the water supply in the future. In response, the State has determined that oversight is necessary to protect public health.
“Hopewell Township residents, particularly those in Brandon Farms, depend on Trenton Water Works for safe drinking water. We are grateful to the state Department of Environmental Protection for their quick response to our concerns about the facility,” says Mayor Peters-Manning. “Thanks go to Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin for his leadership on this issue. The staff at Trenton Water Works has been nothing but professional in their dealings with the Township, and we look forward to continuing to work with them and the DEP to safeguard the future of our water supply.”
The oversight will begin with the appointment of a third-party overseer (TPO), who will assess all aspects of TWW operations, including finances, staffing, maintenance, monitoring systems, and recordkeeping. The DEP order, signed today by DEP Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette, was made to protect public health. It states “The primary goals of the TPO shall be improving System operations and maintenance consistently and reliably achieving regulatory requirements intended to protect public health and the environment, which includes ensuring that contaminants that may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health are not currently in or likely to enter the System” (https://dep.nj.gov/wp-content/uploads/trentonwater/docs/2022-10-12-njdep-uao-re-trenton-water-works.pdf).