New Jersey American Water Receives Environmental Stewardship Honor
May 25, 2011 at 10:38 AM EDT
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has recognized New Jersey American Water “for its voluntary and proactive measures taken to go beyond compliance in an effort to improve the environment and ensure a sustainable future.”
New Jersey American Water received a certificate from the DEP’s Environmental Stewardship initiative for the company’s work on a $3 million upgrade of sewage facilities in the Pottersville section of Tewksbury.
In a letter to the company, Wolfgang Skacel, DEP assistant commissioner, said that New Jersey American Water’s performance would be compared with compliance data from others entities in the state and the results would be housed on the DEP’s website. “It is our intent to have this serve as an information resource where others may learn from or be inspired by your actions, just as others may lead you to new achievements,” Skacel wrote.
“We are thrilled that the DEP Environmental Stewardship Initiative has cited New Jersey American Water as a leader in environmental compliance,” said John Bigelow, president of New Jersey American Water. “More importantly, our customers in Tewksbury are benefitting from this new wastewater treatment facility that not only serves their needs but is also environmentally friendly.”
The Pottersville plant was rebuilt to comply with new treatment requirements mandated by the DEP well before they go into effect in 2013. The state-of-the-art improvements began in fall 2010 and were completed this spring. Upgrades include a trash trap, disc filters and ultraviolet disinfection unit along with mechanical and electrical equipment upgrades for better treatment process reliability. New Jersey American Water also made various equipment and operational improvements to the antiquated Pottersville Wastewater Treatment Plant since acquiring the facility in 2008.
Working with the DEP and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, New Jersey American Water has efforts underway to enhance the environment in the immediate area. Teaming with the New Jersey Audubon Society, the company is also exploring the creation of a joint "habitat restoration" project for species native to the area surrounding the facility.
“The site of the plant is predominantly forested wetlands and has very little buildable area,” said Suzanne Chiavari, New Jersey American Water vice president of engineering. “As a result, the upgrades were designed and built to stay within the existing footprint of the plant to minimize disturbance to the natural habitat on the site and around the site will be avoided.”
New Jersey American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.5 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in more than 30 states, as well as parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.
In 2011, American Water is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a yearlong campaign to promote water efficiency and the importance of protecting water from source to tap. To learn more, visit www.amwater125.com.