TRENTON, NJ -- Under a new law sponsored by Hamilton Assemblymen Dan Benson and Wayne DeAngelo residents will now be informed within one hour after a mayor or city clerk is notified that a boil water advisory is in place. The lawmakers wrote the law after a series of problems with Trenton Water Works (TWW) -- which services much of Hamilton Township -- in the last two years. In January 2018, the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued four violations after the failure of a filter went undetected for more than a month.
"Residents should learn immediately of an issue with their water to take the necessary precautions for their families," said Benson. "The first step is supplying that information to municipal leaders to help notify families."
"We've been working to improve communication and services for water utilities not just in Trenton but throughout the state," said DeAngelo, who serves as chairman of the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee. "This another step in protecting public health and ensuring residents know when, and as soon as possible, there is a concern with their drinking water."
Owners or operators of a public water system must now provide notice to the mayor and municipal clerk of each municipality that receives water from the public water system when a boil water notice is in effect, regardless of whether the notice is in effect for that specific municipality. Notifications can be made via telephone and electronic mail no later than one hour after the public water system learns of the contamination.
The notice must contain the name of the public water system affected; geographical area affected; date of the occurrence; consumer corrective measures to be taken; and a telephone number where customers may reach an appropriate party. When boil water notice is rescinded, the owner or operator of the public water system will similarly notify affected municipalities.
"I want to thank our great legislators for continuing to fight to protect Hamilton residents from unnecessary delays in water quality notifications, said Martin. "During the last boil water advisory, we heard from many residents who took medication, brushed their teeth or gave their kids water to drink during the delayed notification. This will ensure that doesn't happen again."
Governor Phil Murphy signed the new law on Thursday which takes effect immediately.