Shore water supplier runs hurricane checklist, suggests you do the same
If a hurricane hits between now and November 30, the water flowing from your taps probably won't be top-of-mind for you. But it will be the front-burner issue at SUEZ, formerly United Water Toms River.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA,) Atlantic hurricane season this year has the potential for as many as 17 named storms, five to nine of them hurricanes, and two to four of the hurricanes at velocities of Category 3, 4, or 5.
Severe storms carry the potential for service interruptions, through main ruptures, pump breakdowns and similar infrastructure catastrophes.
"We watch the weather very carefully and we'll be prepared to make any operating adjustments necessary to maintain the integrity of our facilities and water supplies," said Jim Mastrokalos, Director of Operations, in prepared comments.
Prep includes testing of backup generators, keeping water storage units filled, storing extra treatment compounds, and coordinating with emergency response operatives.
"Many local agencies and organizations team together with SUEZ to prepare for hurricanes and other severe storms," Mastrokalos said. "We also urge our customers be weather ready by checking their personal emergency preparedness plans."
That includes stocking emergency supplies such as flashlights, batteries, food - and water in clean, rinsed, food-grade storage containers. The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers a detailed list of recommendations on its web page.
If an emergency action plan is activated, SUEZ provides information at its web page, or at 877-565-1456.
Lawn Watering Gauge System Up and Running
Some shore residents unfailingly run their lawn sprinklers every day during late spring, summer and early fall, even when it rains. Too much water is as bad for lawns as too little water, and it can also mean a whopping expense, to say nothing of wasted water.
A continuing partnership between SUEZ and Rutgers University's State Climatologist, Dr. Dave Robinson, helps customers pinpoint optimal lawn-watering periods, with daily updates via e-mail and web interface.
Calculations center on EvapoTranspiration (ET), a measure of soil water depletion through evaporation, and through transpiration by plants. It is signified by a numerical value, reached through considerations of air temperature, humidity, solar factors and wind speed, and it translates to recommendations for length of watering times.
ET values are calculated for SUEZ customers in its New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware regions. They continue through September.
The notifications are free, and can be obtained by linking to the company's green lawns portal. Subscribers submit zip codes and e-mail addresses. The SUEZ water conservation portal offers tips about ways to economize everyday use.
Annual Water Quality Report Published Digitally
SUEZ's 24 wells in Toms River require annual reviews of contaminant levels, such as pesticides, pathogens, nutrients, radionuclides, and radon. The 2016 report is now available through the water quality portal on the SUEZ web page.
The report complies with requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Federal regulators granted approval for electronic access in 2013, but print copies are available. Home and business customers who have received print versions previously continue to receive them. To request one, call the company's headquarters in Toms River, Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM, 732-349-0227.