CAMDEN, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New Jersey American Water is proud to be joining the hundreds of businesses, labor organizations, elected officials and others in spreading the message that we must #BuildForTomorrow during this year’s Infrastructure Week, held May 13-20. In its seventh year, Infrastructure Week is a national week of events, media coverage, education and issue advocacy designed to elevate infrastructure as a critical issue impacting the economy, society, security and future.
“Many of us take infrastructure for granted, with the average resident unaware of just how much it impacts daily life,” said Cheryl Norton, president of New Jersey American Water. “New Jersey American Water successfully owns, operates and maintains seven surface water treatment plants, 258 wells and 20 wastewater treatment plants, as well as approximately 9,600 miles of water and wastewater pipes, all to serve customers in 192 communities throughout the state. Infrastructure Week is the perfect time to educate our customers about the investments we make to ensure reliable service now and for the future, and the benefits of those investments to the communities we serve.”
The state of America’s infrastructure is one of the most pressing issues facing us as a nation. The American Society of Civil Engineers in 2017 graded our nation’s water infrastructure a D+ and wastewater infrastructure a D-, and have estimated that the need over the next 25 years is $1 trillion.
New Jersey American Water invested more than $330 million on systems upgrades statewide in 2018 – nearly a million dollars a day – to ensure quality and reliability. Of that amount, more than $102.4 million was invested to replace and rehabilitate more than 67 miles of aging pipe and install new main to serve additional areas, and more than $2 million was spent on leak detection technology to enhance the company’s ability to respond to leaks and breaks. Since 2010, the company has invested nearly $2.4 billion in system improvements and follows robust asset management plan that includes about a 90- to 100-year pipe replacement rate annually.
In addition to the direct benefits to customers, these investments also benefit the state’s economy. This week a new brochure, “How Water Investments Drive New Jersey’s Economy,” was released by the New Jersey section of the American Water Works Association, Jersey Water Works, and other partners. The brochure contains supporting facts for investment. For example, a $1 billion investment in the state’s water infrastructure would create 13,787 jobs; and from those jobs, workers would earn $739.5 million and state and local economies would receive $143.1 million in new revenue. In 2016, nearly 1.7 million workers were directly involved in designing, constructing, and operating water systems and infrastructure.
In addition to annual investment in infrastructure, New Jersey American Water’s systems continue to be in compliance with all the core standards and requirements set forth by New Jersey’s Water Quality Accountability Act. Passed into law in July 2017, the Water Quality Accountability Act is aimed at enhancing the reliability and safety of drinking water from every water provider in the state. With a focus on accountability and transparency, this law establishes statewide standards for investment into water systems with more than 500 service connections for all water purveyors that is consistent with industry best practices.
“The Water Quality Accountability Act takes a proactive look at our state’s aging infrastructure while aiming to raise the level of investment and overall accountability of every water provider in New Jersey. Our efforts to evaluate our systems and provide accurate and thorough reporting of our compliance with this law reinforce our commitment to the safe and reliable delivery of quality water service to every customer in the state,” added Norton.
“We are thrilled that New Jersey American Water is joining Infrastructure Week. The state of America’s infrastructure is one of the most pressing issues facing us as a nation. The benefits of a stronger, better infrastructure system could be immense, but we urgently need political courage and leadership on this issue,” said Zach Schafer, executive director, Infrastructure Week. “During Infrastructure Week, we bring together the public and private sector to encourage lawmakers to think long-term, and invest in infrastructure at the federal, state and local level.”
New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), 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. For more information, visit www.newjerseyamwater.com and follow New Jersey American Water on Twitter and Facebook. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,100 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in 46 states and Ontario, Canada. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit www.amwater.com.