Our water infrastructure is unsafe and severely outdated

Kids are drinking lead-contaminated water in schools, our sewers are outdated and over capacity, and experts estimate that New Jersey’s water infrastructure alone requires $8 billion in repairs over the next 10 years to protect the water supply, maintain efficient and safe delivery of drinking water, and dispose of waste.

The threat you can’t see

Water infrastructure tends only to make news for the wrong reasons; it’s an unsung, unseen hero when it works, and a true crisis and catastrophe when it doesn’t. Making matters worse, the most important and costly pieces are often completely hidden – literally, below ground – from the public, so the condition and longevity of pipes is difficult to determine.

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The water New Jersey and New York residents use to cook, bathe, and drink is crucial to our livelihood, which is why it is so troubling that water infrastructure is one of our most neglected systems.

Costly and disruptive water main breaks, elevated levels of lead in drinking water, and emergency repairs are more common in our region than ever before. It is estimated nearly 30 percent of the water in New Jersey and New York is lost through leaky and damaged pipes before it even reaches your tap.

When water systems aren’t properly maintained, all of us pay the price – either through wasted rate dollars or our health. Our region’s elected officials and stakeholders must prioritize water infrastructure upgrades to keep our water flowing, safe, affordable and clean for generations to come.