(November 4, 2022) This week, Passaic Valley Water Commission (PVWC) started removing and replacing approximately 6,500 lead service lines in its owner cities of Clifton, Passaic and Paterson. The commission will continue inspecting about 11,000 additional service lines with unknown material.
“While we are pleased to start replacing these lead service lines in our owner cities, we need our customers to participate in this free program,” said PVWC Executive Director Jim Mueller. “Lead is bad and any exposure to lead is not considered safe…that’s why we’re continuing to get the lead out as we have been doing since the 1980’s,” continued Mueller.
Replacing lead service lines normally costs upwards of $10,000, but PVWC is doing it free of charge for customers in its owner cities. The replacement initiative is being funded by a 77% principal forgiveness Loan from the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank. A law signed by Governor Phil Murphy in July 2021 requires water systems in New Jersey to identify all lead service lines, provide public notification regarding the presence of lead service lines, and replace all lead service lines by 2031.
“There is no safe level of lead in drinking water,” said Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “The Murphy Administration is proud to be a partner in this effort to protect the public, especially our children who are most susceptible to negative health effects of even very low levels of lead. Eliminating lead service lines, found in many communities across the state, is a key objective of the administration’s innovative Water Infrastructure Improvement Plan (WIIP), fueled by federal funding under the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and continuing state appropriations championed by Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature. As we mark the 50th anniversary of the federal Clean Water Act this year, rest assured that the administration will continue to work tirelessly with our communities and stakeholders to fulfill the promise of safe and reliable water for everyone.”
Assemblyman Gary Schaer said, “In 2021, Governor Murphy signed my historic lead remediation legislation to eliminate the State’s estimated 350,000 lead service lines. This landmark infrastructure project will protect every resident from the life-long health effects of lead and give New Jersey’s children the lead-free future they deserve. The Passaic Valley Water Commission has been incredible community partners, working effectively to deliver clean drinking water to Passaic’s families.”
PVWC customers in the cities of Clifton, Passaic and Paterson are encouraged to visit pvwc.com where they can check what type of service line material is present at their properties. If lead or unknown service line material is present at a customer’s property, the easy-to-navigate website explains the necessary steps needed to schedule a visual inspection and replacement…all free of charge.