NEWARK, NJ — Mayor Ras J. Baraka and other dignitaries hoisted wrenches on April 11 to launch $23 million in new upgrades for a state-of-the-art facility at the Pequannock Water Treatment Plant. The water treatment plant is located at 2224 Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike in West Milford.
The plant treats and then pipes water to residents and businesses in Newark, and to customers in other towns that contract with the city to provide their drinking water, including Belleville, Bloomfield, East Orange and Nutley.
When the upgrades are completed, the system will improve overall water quality and increase the plant’s processing capacity up to 60 million gallons per day. The project is financed by New Jersey Infrastructure Bank Program low-interest loan financing, designed by Kleinfelder Inc. and constructed by Spectraserv. It will also replace obsolete equipment and valves, and upgrade to the backwash system.
“This is a continuation of our pledge to supply Newark residents with clean and pristine drinking water,” Baraka said. “Our investment record is clear. We put about $200 million in our water and sewer infrastructure even before we undertook the $190 million project to replace every known lead line in the city. We are also supporting the communities outside of Newark who depend on us for clean water, continuing to invest in our young chemists, scientists and engineers, and being best and first in class with our entire infrastructure.”
“The Murphy administration is proud to partner with the city of Newark and water systems across New Jersey by investing in infrastructure upgrades that will better protect public health and deliver clean drinking water for our children and families,” N.J. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette said. “The state-of-the-art improvements that we celebrate today at the Pequannock Water Treatment Plant represent yet another step forward for our state, reaffirming our commitment to clean water for every community.”
“We have five outdoor reservoirs that store 14 billion gallons of water,” said Kareem Adeem, director of the Department of Water and Sewer Utilities in Newark. “These new systems will help us draw and purify that water with greater speed and efficiency.”
The work will also include building a new system control center.
“This work is not only about needed maintenance, but state-of-the art improvements,” Adeem said. “It shows people all that goes on behind the scenes to make the water coming out of their tap among the best in the country.”
The improvement project follows the completion of the city’s Lead Service Line Replacement Program, in which Newark replaced all of its 23,000 lead lines in less than three years, garnering praise as a “model city” for lead line replacement from Vice President Kamala Harris, environmentalists and the media.
Photos Courtesy of Newark