NEWARK, NJ - Two water infrastructure projects in Newark received over $81 million combined in grants to upgrade drinking and wastewater systems.

The Cedar Grove Reservoir, which is owned by Newark and supplies drinking water to customers, received $62.7 million for construction of a protective cover. The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, which is located in Newark and is a wastewater treatment facility, received $18.9 million to update 12 secondary treatment clarifiers.

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Four other facilities received grants. Overall, the federal Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA) awarded $84.5 million to the six projects in New Jersey.

The EPA awarded about $65.6 million to the New Jersey Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program and about $19 million New Jersey Drinking Water Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program.

“Working with our state and local partners to ensure our communities have affordable access to clean drinking water remains a critical priority for EPA,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez in a news release. “We are pleased to provide significant funding as part of our overall efforts to help New Jersey meet its critical water infrastructure needs.”

The two programs from the federal EPA are administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental (NJDEP) and the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank, its financing program. 

The state matched 20 percent of the grants and received repayments from previous CWSRF and DWSRF loans, enabling financing of up to $450 million in clean water and infrastructure projects in the state.

The federal Water Alliance estimates that the state’s CWSRF and DWSRF programs could potentially create approximately 7,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, $3.9 million was allocated to the East Orange Water Commission to replace 15 water mains on Garden State Parkway bridges, and $7.4 million was awarded to Winslow Township to add radium removal at two existing wells.

Raritan will receive $360,245 to repair or replace decaying sewer pipes that are are contributing to raw sewage flows that have been affecting the Raritan River. The Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority will receive $6.6 million to install ten new rain gardens in the City of Camden that will reduce sewer overflows. Deteriorating sewer pipes will also be reduced in Camden.

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