Miles of old water main, some of which date back to before World War I, made way for new mains as part of the hundreds of projects completed in 2013 through New Jersey American Water’s distribution system improvement effort. Nearly 300,000 feet of water main was installed or rehabilitated in 2013, as the company invested more than $72.7 million to renew its infrastructure. With nearly 9,000 miles of water and sewer mains spread throughout the 188 communities it serves, New Jersey American Water – like water utilities nationwide – faces the ongoing challenge of replacing aging infrastructure. Approximately 15 percent of the company’s pipes are 100 years old or older, and those pipes are nearing the end of their problem-free life. Replacing and upgrading older mains improves water quality for customers as well as increases water pressures and improves reliable fire flow. In more than 70 municipalities, New Jersey American crews installed new pumps, hydrants, valves, and mains. More than 38,000 feet of pipes were “cleaned and lined,” which involves scrubbing the insides of mains to remove sediment, lining the pipes' inner walls with a layer of cement and replacing associated valves and hydrants, thereby reinforcing the pipes and extending their useful life. In 2014, New Jersey American Water will continue to aggressively upgrade its water distribution system, replacing hundreds of thousands of feet of additional water main in more of its service areas. “This past year we were able to step up the pace of replacing or rehabilitating old water mains that had outlived their intended usefulness and in many cases, were somewhat undersized to serve communities and provide the increased fire flow that is vital to protect homes and businesses,” said Suzanne Chiavari, practice lead for American Water engineering, who oversaw the implementation of the distribution system improvements. “We now have an enhanced construction program that enables us to tackle aging infrastructure in a much more immediate way and maintain reliable water service to our customers.”
New Jersey American Water’s distribution system improvement effort was implemented after the state Board of Public Utilities allowed the state’s water utilities to accelerate the rate at which they can revive water infrastructure. This increase in renewal activity is paid for with a surcharge on customers’ water bills called the Distribution System Improvement Charge (DSIC). Only the replacement or rehabilitation of water infrastructure projects that have been previously reviewed and approved by the state is eligible for the DSIC.Visit facebook.com/newjerseyamericanwater for future updates on New Jersey American Water distribution improvements. New Jersey American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.5 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 30 states, as well as parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.