⚫ The water coming out of your tap could cost you more, starting this month

⚫ New Jersey American Water is adding a surcharge to replace lead service lines

⚫ Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law mandating the change

If you are a New Jersey American Water customer you will begin paying a surcharge in your regular bill this month to replace lead service lines that could pose a danger to human health.

The surcharge, which has been approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, will be $0.91 for the typical residential customer who uses the average amount of water, 5,520 gallons a month.

Mark McDonough, the president of New Jersey American Water, said “nobody likes another charge on their bill, but by working with our skilled teams of engineering and operations employees and contractors, leveraging technology, partnering with our communities we are strategically and systematically working as cost effectively as possible for the benefit of our customers.”

The program is vital

BPU President Joe Fiordaliso said the lead service line replacement program is vital for infrastructure.

“A poor infrastructure can easily tumble a society into a third world country," he said.

metal pipe with valve is leaking in water treatment plant
olando_o GettyImages

Gov. Phil Muprhy signed a legislative package in 2021 that requires public water system operators to check all of their water service lines, and replace those containing lead by July of 2031.

The surcharge could change

Under the Lead Service Line Replacement plan approved by the BPU, from this point forward New Jersey American Water will submit semi-annual filings every 6 months, and the surcharge on the average monthly bill will be adjusted depending on the actual amount of expense incurred for the work that is done.

The company has announced it is fine-tuning its lead service line replacement plans for 2023 and will be sharing an update in the coming weeks with customers, county and municipal officials and other key stakeholders.

More information about New Jersey American Water’s approach to lead service line replacement prioritization and the work that has been done to date is available on the company’s Lead Facts webpage.

American Water, the parent company of New Jersey American water, is the largest and most geographically diverse. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company in the United States.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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