Bordentown City Water Department: Background
Over the past few years, Bordentown City has made great strides to create a comprehensive plan of its water department. They created an asset management plan (AMP) that inventoried all of its water systems (plant, pumps, hydrants, tanks, mains, meters, and such) and prioritized capital improvements based on an independent evaluation of their performance and life cycle. In compliance with the state regulations, this ten year capital investment plan was submitted to the state and readily available to the public.
Over the past years, the City of Bordentown Water Advisory Committee (consisting of residents and representatives from both the city and the township) has helped evaluate, inform, and implement the recommendations from this plan. It is a collaborative process whereby our local government and our residents have worked together to systematically rebuild the following outdated and aging underground infrastructure in our city: Burlington, Willow, Second, West and Oliver Streets. In addition to upgrading these old water mains, the city has also been replacing any city owned service laterals (lines from the main to the curb). In 2022, consistent with our plan, the water department will be undertaking water upgrades to both Brooks Avenue and Union Street. Also on the horizon in 2022 and into 2023, the water department will be upgrading one of its water tanks and replacing all of its water meters.
Furthermore, the City developed a corrective action plan with its lead sampling and this scientific data driven approach yielded two straight years (four total sampling periods) of compliance with State standards. Water sampling has continuously been taken at our source (water plant) and throughout the distribution system as well as our interconnection point into Fieldsboro. The city does not have lead in its water, and takes great care that its water does not contribute to corrosion within individual home plumbing.
Over the past two years, there have been hundreds of water samples taken and the vast majority have had very low or non-detectable lead levels. By the state standards, the city and its water department are compliant. However, within individual homes there may be an interior plumbing problem whereby the building materials (primarily lead solder and brass fixtures) inside people’s homes may contribute and/or cause lead to leech into the water as it travels throughout the home. All of this is supported by the extensive water sampling and analyses that the city has undertaken in the past few years.
Lead Service Letters (February 2022)
In July 2021, the State of Jersey passed a law directing all utilities that they are required to inventory all water service lines throughout the water distribution system and notify residents with lead or galvanized steel service lines of the potential presence of lead in their service lines, and begin to develop a plan for the replacement of all lead service lines within the next ten years.
In compliance with these state regulations, last week, Bordentown City mailed out 267 individual letters. These letters noted that the privately owned water service line (the lateral from the curb to the home underneath the sidewalks) was known to be a galvanized pipe, which the state now classifies as “lead” service. Additional efforts are under way to identify any additional homes with galvanized service lines; these homes will be notified as the information becomes available. Click Here to Read Sample Notice of Lead Service Line Material to Resident
This is just the beginning of our outreach and community engagement process. There will be many more communications and meetings and we will pursue whatever funding may be available to help mitigate the cost for everyone involved. As demonstrated in the past, the City is committed to open and transparent communication. There is educational information on the city website, including the inventory of all known service line materials. If anyone has questions, please feel free to contact Deputy Mayor Joe Myers 609-556-7837 or email him at jmyers@cityofbordentown. or call City Hall at 609-298-0604.
NJ Department of Environmental Protection Toolkit for Consumers
To reduce the potential risks from lead in drinking water, New Jersey enacted the Lead Service Line Replacement Law in July 2021 (P.L. 2021, Ch. 183) that requires drinking water systems to inventory service lines, notify residents of the potential presence of lead in their service lines, and plan for the replacement of all lead service lines within 10 ten years. To assist in answering questions you may have as a result of these notifications, the Department has prepared a lead service line consumer toolkit which consists of links as listed below to provide information to you and to help answer your questions:
Lead Service Line FAQ For The Consumer
What is a Lead Service Line?
NJ DEP Lead Exposure Reduction Website
Steps To Reduce Exposure From Lead In Drinking Water
Flush Out Lead Information
NJ’s Lead Service Lines Informative Social Media Video