News Feature | January 25, 2018

Regulators: Trenton Water System Threatens Public Health

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,

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New Jersey’s top environmental regulator says alleged failures at Trenton’s water utility could pose a threat to public health.

Bob Martin, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, raised the issue in a letter this month to Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson, according to The Trentonian.

“The City’s inability or unwillingness to act with the urgency the current situation requires potentially puts at risk the health of the 225,000 people Trenton Water Works serves in the City of Trenton and in Ewing, Hamilton, Lawrence and Hopewell townships,” the letter said.

Purple water is among the latest problems allegedly served up by Trenton Water Works, The Trentonian reported.

“Trenton Water Works under the Jackson administration has been cited for multiple alleged violations over the last four years, including a recent snafu that caused the utility to deliver purple water tinged with an excess concentration of potassium permanganate and excessive levels of haloacetic acids,” the report said.

The utility faces four violations from the state after a filter failure went undetected for a month, according to

“The so-called combined filter effluent, or CFE, collects the filter water before it enters the system, but was not working properly between September 25 to November 2, 2017,” the report said.

“As a result, Trenton Water Works is not sure if the city's water supply was below the required turbidity level — a minimum standard of the cloudiness of water caused by particles,” the report said.

Trenton has also come under fire in recent months for understaffing its water utility. summarized previous criticisms from state regulators: “Trenton's water utility is severely understaffed and lacks leadership and technical expertise to complete its mission to provide reliable and safe water to city residents, business and the towns it serves in Mercer County.”

For similar stories visit Water Online’s Drinking Water Contaminant Removal Solutions Center.

Image credit: “Trenton makes, the world takes," © 2013 DearEdward, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: