CAMDEN, NJ – To improve the city’s drinking water, American Water and city officials have announced two new water treatment projects, one of which is already underway. 

The city’s Parkside Water Treatment Plant is to be replaced with a new facility on Vesper Boulevard, along with implementing new water quality safeguards.

Design engineering, testing and permit applications for the new Parkside facility have already begun, according to a joint statement from American Water and city officials.

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Construction of a new Parkside treatment facility is to start later this year and will take at least eight months to be operational. The building that houses those improvements should be complete by the end of 2022. Work will also include additional public parking.

The second phase of these projects, to begin in 2022, will enhance compliance with new state water treatment regulations for certain contaminants. These improvements will be made at the Morris-Delair well fields in Pennsauken, at the Parkside treatment plant, and the city’s Puchack treatment facility that is no longer in service.

“Continuing to provide drinking water that meets all state and federal requirements for safety and quality is a priority for our city. These investments will help to ensure (those standards) for current and future residents and businesses,” said Mayor Frank Moran in a prepared statement.

The state Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) recently implemented new water quality regulations, ahead of federal regulations, for a group of man-made chemical compounds called “polyfluoroalkyl substances” or PFAS.

To prepare for the new state regulations, American Water and the city have worked together for two years to provide safer, clean drinking water for Camden’s 74,000 residents and supply adequate water pressure for essential city services.

American Water says the drinking water supplied to city homes and businesses already meets or surpasses current quality standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act. To assure quality compliance, the city significantly reduced its reliance on Parkside wells and it removed from service a number of wells at the Morris-Delair well field.

Second-phase upgrades for this new project will address PFAS and 1,4-dioxane treatment at the Morris-Delair well fields, at the Parkside treatment plant and the former Puchack treatment plant. 

The city’s drinking water source is groundwater from the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifer and its water system is primarily served by the Morris-Delair and Parkside treatment plants, which also provide system pressure and fire protection.

In February, the city entered into a 10-year bulk water agreement with NJ American Water to supplement its water system as the city and American Water move ahead with improvements to its treatment facilities.

The city has contracted since 2016 with American Water to operate Camden’s water and wastewater treatment systems. Learn more about this partnership at www.amwater.com/Camden.