(TRENTON) – Addressing the issue of wasted water in New Jersey, Assembly Democrats John McKeon (D-Essex, Morris), Carol Murphy (D-Burlington), Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), and Britnee Timberlake (D-Essex, Passaic) sponsor legislation approved Thursday in the Assembly Special Committee on Infrastructure and Natural Resources to require private and public water providers to conduct and report water loss audits to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Many New Jersey water providers lose revenue due to water loss, which can amount to increasing costs to customers. The bills (A-2200/ A-2631) would amend and supplement the “Water Supply Management Act” to require that public and private water providers who serve at least 3,300 individuals annually submit water loss audits.
A standardized method for detecting and locating leaks was developed in 2000 through the American Works Association and the International Water Association. However, not all water providers have made the shift to utilize these standards, making it difficult to compare the quantities of lost water over time between different utilities. All water loss is not preventable, but up to 75% of water loss due to leaks is recoverable.
After committee approval, Assembly members McKeon, Murphy, Vainieri Huttle, and Timberlake issued the following joint statement:
“We lose more than just water when there are long-term undetected leaks.
“The ability to rapidly find leaks allows the utility providers to put more of their resources into immediate repair, which is more cost-effective. Many of these leaks are preventable with the standardized method for leak detections and it should be utilized to help the utility services and customers.
“In New Jersey, 130 gallons of drinking water are lost every day. This is not only a waste of water, but it is also a preventable loss of revenue for both the state and the utility services.”