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Montvale, NJ 07645

Important Water Quality News From Suez

We know you’ve been waiting to hear this. We are pleased to announce that the drinking water in our Northern New Jersey system meets all federal standards for lead – and has for a full year.

This means your communities are receiving water that surpasses all health and safety standards.

This welcome news comes after a two-year, $65 million effort in which SUEZ tackled the issue on many fronts. Crews working six days a week swept through 47 municipalities, removing thousands of lead service lines. Water quality experts installed cutting-edge testing equipment and enhanced water treatment. Thousands of customers took advantage of our offer to test the water inside their homes for free.

Compliance testing has shown steady improvement. In December 2018, the lead level was 18.4 parts per billion (ppb), above the federal standard of 15 ppb. The level for the first half of 2020 was 9.1 ppb, well below even the more the stringent standards proposed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Testing in the second half of 2020 shows continued declines in lead levels, with the results currently at 8.4 ppb.

Our work is not done.

While we are no longer subject to state oversight on lead, we will not rest until we remove all the lead from the company’s system.

Next week we will reach a milestone – the removal of the 5,000th service line. We’re spending $20 million next year to remove thousands more.

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The most important thing we do is provide our customers and our communities with safe, reliable drinking water. In addition to its lead line replacement program, SUEZ implemented the following:

  • Formed a team of water quality experts to study the unique characteristics of the system’s water chemistry and hydraulics. Pipes were pulled up and shipped across the country for analysis. Innovative testing equipment was built and stationed throughout the system. The work led to significant advancements in corrosion control treatment using zinc orthophosphate, which coats pipes to prevent lead from entering the water.
  • Established a free testing program for customers with utility-owned lead service lines. Of the more than 2,900 tests performed, 99 percent have met lead standards. In fact, the vast majority showed no trace of lead. A team from SUEZ visited every home with an elevated test to help identify and address potential causes.
  • Educated customers with mailings, web postings and public information sessions. Our trained customer service representatives have assisted more than 22,000 customers who have called for information about lead.

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We continue to encourage residents to take a closer look inside their homes and address potential lead safety issues. Lead plumbing, lead solder, faucets that contain lead, even grounding electric wires to lead pipes can cause elevated lead levels in the water. Customers should also replace their service lines – they own the section from the curb to the home – if made of lead.

I want to thank the work of the many municipal officials who have helped us with this project, whether by expediting permits or letting us partner in your road programs. You have been important to our progress in your communities. This year, the pandemic has highlighted how important water is to the communities we serve. We continue to strive to protect our water supply and improve our service for residents and businesses in New Jersey. Clean, safe water has never been more essential.

Please reach out if you have any questions about our work. We are honored to serve.

Alan Weland
Vice President and General Manager, SUEZ Northern NJ Operations
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