PATERSON, NJ – After years of delays, the Passaic Valley Water Commission (PVWC) project to replace the open Levine Reservoir with water storage tanks has been approved by the US EPA and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. The project was delayed for nearly a decade by opponents who refuted the proven science behind the project and falsely claimed it would harm the aesthetics of the area.

The water tanks will prevent treated drinking water from becoming polluted with animal waste, fecal matter, bacteria and other contaminants. The tanks will also allow the water to be treated to reduce the risk of lead leaching into the drinking water once it’s delivered to consumers in the area.

The Levine Reservoir, built in 1885, is one of the few reservoirs of its type still in use in the US. In 2009, the EPA ordered that all open reservoirs be removed from service because of the risks to public health and safety.

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Although additional local permits are needed, groundbreaking is expected later this year with construction to be completed within two years. Planning and design is underway for the New Street Reservoir, which is the next reservoir to be replaced. That plan has also met opposition from people that claim the tanks will harm their views and is unnecessary. Like the Levine Reservoir project, the New Street project is needed to reduce the risk of animal waste, fecal matter, bacteria and other contaminants getting into the drinking water.

PVWC is New Jersey’s largest public water provider serving over 800,000 consumers in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris and Passaic counties. Visit www.PVWC.com or follow on Facebook (@thePVWC), Twitter (@PVWC) or contact Customer Service at 973-340-4300.