Why we need to do this
In 2009, PVWC was ordered by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to stop using open reservoirs to store drinking water.
Storing treated drinking water in open reservoirs was once a fairly common practice. However, as more information became available about the health and safety risks associated with open reservoirs, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered an end to storing treated drinking water in open reservoirs, such as Levine.
The EPA estimated that more than 750 open finished water reservoirs existed in the 1970’s, but by 2011, fewer than 38 open reservoirs
remained in service. Unfortunately, we operate 3 of them, including the Great Notch, Levine, and New Street reservoirs.
In 2009, we agreed to the terms of an Administrative Consent Order (ACO) with NJ DEP. Among other things, it ordered us to “eliminate or cover these reservoirs.”
In compliance with the ACO, we had a feasibility study conducted, which determined that building water tanks at the Levine Reservoir was the most cost-effective solution. A second study examined other locations, but determined we should build the tanks at the Levine Reservoir location.
Through community outreach and surveys, we heard from nearly 5,000 consumers. Overwhelmingly, they support the idea of building water tanks at the Levine Reservoir.
In July of 2020, we finally reached agreement with the EPA, NJ DEP and others. That agreement will allow the project to move forward and construction to begin.