(Clifton, N.J. – August 17, 2023) – The impact of climate change has been bringing more frequent and intense weather to Northern New Jersey over the last decade, increasing the risk of power outages due to flooding and damaging winds. To ensure Passaic Valley Water Commission (PVWC) is ready for any major power outages that may happen, the company has installed four new diesel-powered emergency generators totaling 12 megawatts of energy at its Little Falls Water Treatment Plant. In the event of an electrical failure in the area, the $29 million project ensures the generators, which have been operational since mid-July, will supply enough energy to power the raw water pumps and filtration plant, residuals facility and pumps distributing finished water to our distribution system.
“It is very important to sustain PVWC treatment operations in the event of a power outage,” said Jim Mueller, Executive Director of PVWC. “With hurricane season upon us, and considering the storms we’ve had lately, if there is a power outage, we want the assurance that we will be able to have a seamless transition from the power grid to the generators so that our customers will continue to receive their water without interruption,” Mr. Mueller added.
PVWC recognizes the need to have a back-up energy source, especially since climate change has made the weather so unpredictable. We want our customers to know that we are doing everything possible to be able to continue running the treatment plant and key facilities during an emergency. In the event of a power outage, the generators are expected to run and to create power for as many days as necessary so the plant and pump station will be able to operate as efficiently as they would in a non-power outage situation.
The generators are just part of what PVWC is doing to lessen the impact of climate change. The company is looking at improving drainage issues in various areas to help combat flooding along with other resiliency projects to protect its resources.