Trenton – In an effort to minimize the amount of drinking water that fails to make it to customers’ faucets, the Senate Energy and Environment Committee today advanced legislation sponsored by Senators Linda Greenstein and Richard Codey, which would require water purveyors to conduct, and report water loss audits to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
“Excessive water loss indicates inadequate operation and maintenance of water systems, therefore increasing water rates for residents and wasting a significant amount of clean water. It is vital to assess and minimize leakage, while monitoring whether water losses are increasing or decreasing,” said Senator Greenstein (D- Mercer/Middlesex). “Requiring water purveyors to conduct and submit validated water loss audits would be a key step towards achieving cost-effective reductions in water loss.”
The bill, S-278, would amend the “Water Supply Management Act” to require State water providers that have more than 500 service connections to conduct annual water loss audits. Under the bill, water purveyors would be required to annually submit a completed and certified water loss audit report covering the previous calendar year.
“Nationwide, we lose enough water to supply 11 million homes for a year. Water losses result in financial setbacks for water utilities when clean water is supplied but fails to reach customers,” said Senator Codey (D-Essex/Morris). “This squanders the costs associated with acquiring, treating, and delivering water, increasing water rates for everyone, including residents. It is time to address this waste and this bill does just that.”
The measure would direct the DEP to develop recommendations for performance standards to be met by water purveyors concerning the volume of water losses. Each water provider would be required to consider the findings of its annual water loss audit when determining which water infrastructure projects would receive highest priority for investment.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 4-0.