VOORHEES, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) latest Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, issued every four years since 2001, recently gave the nation’s water systems a D grade, and wastewater systems a D+ grade, both of which are among the worst of the infrastructures studied in the report. This remains in line with the last few reports, and heightens the sense of urgency to take actions to improve the condition of this often overlooked and truly essential category of infrastructure.
“Once again, as the ASCE grades on drinking water and wastewater infrastructure have come in, we continue to see a national need to upgrade, repair, and maintain a vast system responsible for the most valuable resource we all rely on each day,” said Rob MacLean, President of New Jersey American Water and Senior Vice President of American Water’s Eastern Division. “New Jersey American Water sees the findings as more evidence for the industry’s need to move quickly on updating and maintaining water infrastructure to ensure the resiliency of the nation’s water system for health, safety, and robust local economies.”
As the water and/or wastewater utility company for one in every three people in the state, New Jersey American Water proactively invested about $350 million in needed system improvements in 2016 – nearly $1 million a day – to help ensure high-quality, reliable service for its customers. The company is committed to continuing a robust investment plan in 2017, as part of American Water’s commitment to investing over $1 billion in its service areas nationwide this year.
A breakdown of water systems can result in water disruptions, impediments to emergency response, and damage to other types of infrastructure. The price tag for the critical upkeep and replacement of the nation’s outdated water systems is at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years, according to estimates by the American Water Works Association. While it is a challenge, investing in water and wastewater systems has many benefits.
“Water infrastructure investments prove their value every day in terms of service quality and delivery, as well as in economic benefits as well,” added MacLean. “For every $1 million invested in water infrastructure, it is estimated that 16 jobs are generated throughout the economy.
“From projects to replace water mains, pipelines, and hydrants, and the installation of advanced metering technology to help reduce water leaks, to enhanced treatment capabilities improving efficiency and reliability, the investments we’ve made into the system ensure that we are well positioned to continue to meet customer needs in the communities that rely on us,” he said.
“One of the reasons we want our customers to be aware of the ASCE Report Card is to highlight the critical nature of these issues, and let them know that they already play an important role in system renewal and future reliability by simply paying their water bill,” said MacLean. “By supporting needed improvements, customers and New Jersey American Water are working together to keep the water flowing now and well into the future. While much work needs to be done to raise the grade of the nation’s deteriorating water infrastructure, we are committed to addressing the challenge in our state, just as American Water is committed to addressing the challenge across our service areas nationwide.”
New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.7 million people. More information can be found at www.newjerseyamwater.com. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. The company employs 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com..