the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Haworth NJ, Nineteen crews are working in 11 municipalities in Bergen and Hudson counties this week as part of an aggressive $16 million project by SUEZ to remove the remaining lead service lines from the system.
With multiple crews working in multiple towns six days a week, lead service lines have been replaced in 35 municipalities this year. More than 2,300 lines will be replaced this year. And SUEZ will keep going until all the lead is removed.
“Lead is an issue we take seriously. We are committed to our customers. We, too, live and raise our families here,” said Mark McKoy, Vice President and General Manager. “We will not stop working to ensure our customers receive the highest quality drinking water.”
Recent tests show, once again, that the water in the reservoirs and wells and at the treatment plant contains no lead. There is no lead in the mains. Most customers are not affected by this issue — less than five percent of homes are served by a utility-owned lead service line (the pipe that extends from the main to an individual home). For those that are, our commitment to them remains our priority.
Since January, 2,200 customers with lead service lines have requested a free sample of the drinking water in their homes and 99 percent of the results are within health standards. In fact, the vast majority show no trace of lead. When testing has identified a problem in a home, a team from SUEZ has visited the property to meet with the homeowner and determine the possible source of lead – and address the issue.
While SUEZ continues its comprehensive attack on lead lines, the company urges customers to check their homes for lead. Older homes commonly have lead pipes and solder, which can leach lead into the drinking water. Until 2014, kitchen and bathroom faucets were allowed to contain up to 8 percent of lead. Shower heads and faucets not designed for drinking purposes – such as those used in laundry sinks – traditionally had no standards. Improperly-maintained home water softeners can also contribute to corrosion.
In addition to its service line replacement project, SUEZ has taken these steps for customers:
- Customers can obtain more information or determine if they are served by a utility-owned lead service line or gooseneck by: Checking their online account, visiting www.SUEZWQ.com or www.mysuezwater.com/njwq, emailing SUEZ at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the SUEZ customer service center at 800-422-5987.
- Customers who are served or may be served by a utility-owned lead service line or gooseneck can request a test of their drinking water and an assessment of their portion of the service line by calling the SUEZ customer service center at 800-422-5987.
- If a test result is above the government’s standard, SUEZ will provide a water pitcher with a filter that removes lead from drinking water