NJDEP issues notice of violation to Orange’s water operator

ORANGE, NJ — An April 27 press release from the city of Orange Township announced that the city’s water operator, SUEZ North America, failed to implement water treatment technique requirements as of Jan. 1, 2021.

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regulations require that all municipalities and/or water operators meet certain water treatment technique requirements, meaning that measurements of pH and orthophosphate values must remain within certain parameters. This requirement is monitored by NJDEP on a monthly basis. 

As a result of SUEZ’s failure, NJDEP has issued a notice of violation of the water quality parameters; however, this does not constitute an emergency or require any further corrective action by the city as the current lead and copper sampling results show that there is no exceedance within the Orange water system, according to the press release. 

The release notes that, as part of its normal treatment plan, the city’s water operator has installed corrosion control treatment consisting of pH and orthophosphate adjustments to the Orange water system to help prevent any lead and/or copper in the pipes from dissolving into the water. The pH and orthophosphate values must meet the water quality parameters set by the NJDEP pursuant to regulations current through 2020. Orange was within the permitted range of water quality parameters for the 2020 monitoring period.

However, effective Jan. 1, 2021, the NJDEP restricted the permitted range. As a result, during the first four months of the Jan. 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021, monitoring period, the pH and orthophosphate values did not meet NJDEP standards for 78 days. According to the new standards set by NJDEP regulations, the system may not be outside the set values for nine or more days. Once the Orange Water Department became aware of the new standards, the department immediately adjusted the water treatment process to optimize the water quality and comply with NJDEP standards.

Although the above situation does not constitute an emergency, a public notice was issued in order to inform the public of this development and to inform the public that no action is required by consumers. Finally, the public notice was issued in order to inform the public what actions the city’s operator has already done to correct this issue. 

To be clear, water in Orange is safe and is monitored daily. The Orange Water Department is dedicated to being transparent with its consumers, especially with matters pertaining to water quality, and will continue to hold its water utility operator to maintain the same standard of care and transparency, according to the press release.

For additional information and to obtain a copy of the public notice, residents can visit the alerts section of www.mysuezwater.com or contact SUEZ at 973-419-5409.

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