By Peak Johnson
A New Jersey legislative committee adopted a bill enabling water company audits that can determine how much water is lost on its journey to customers.
According to NJ Spotlight, the legislation is meant to tackle problems with leaks in older water pipelines, which “allow up to 30 percent of drinking water to be lost before it gets to consumers.”
The Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee also sent through a bill for testing and removing lead found in drinking water at healthcare facilities.
“The legislation is part of a series of bills aimed at addressing problems with the quality of drinking water, ranging from lead-tainted supplies in schools and other facilities to toxic contaminants in public water-supply systems and private wells,” NJ Spotlight reported.
“The measure also approves projects designed to reduce flooding in areas of New Jersey and restore the Delaware River Basin,” NJ.com reported.
The effort will "protect New Jerseyans from the threats of river flooding and coastal storms, improve our aging water infrastructure, limit our children's exposure to lead-contaminated drinking water, and restore the environmental health of our waterways and estuaries," Senator Robert Menendez had said in a statement, per NJ.com.
According to the NJ Spotlight, a legislative task force is also conducting hearings on the aging drinking-water infrastructure in New Jersey. Some as old as 100 years or more and prone to leaks and major water-main breaks.
The federal government has projected the state needs to spend $8 billion to overhaul the drinking-water infrastructure.
Among the biggest concerns “are undetected leaks in older mains that are losing an estimated 130 million gallons of water a day, according to one recent study by the Natural Resources Defense Council.”
Image credit: "Old Pipes, July 2010" Mark Brooks © 2010 used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/