Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora: Trenton Water Works Is Working with State Officials on Legionella Mitigation, Is Making Progress, and Will Provide Weekly Updates
Trenton, N.J. — In light of the press release issued by the New Jersey Department of Health on March 27, City of Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today spotlighted the comprehensive work underway at Trenton Water Works (TWW) to manage Legionella, which is a naturally occurring bacteria that is present in water and exist in streams, and rivers, including the Delaware River.
"I want to reassure our customers, the general public, government officials, and stakeholders that TWW is working diligently and cooperatively with state and local officials and sharing sample and testing data to manage Legionella in the TWW system," said Mayor Gusciora. "TWW will provide weekly updates of this work on its website by the close of business each Friday. The general public is encouraged to review the information at trentonwaterworks.org."
The Mayor added that TWW has worked with the New Jersey Department of Health and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on Legionella analysis and mitigation for more than two years.
During this time, TWW sampled and tested for Legionella bacteria throughout its five-municipality system and shared the data with state officials. TWW has installed sampling stations at key parts of its water-distribution system to facilitate water collection for testing. Furthermore, TWW is preparing to launch millions of dollars in capital work related to Legionella, improving overall water quality and system integrity.
TWW has aggressively flushed water mains in its distribution system to eliminate biofilm and tuberculation, reducing the concentration of Legionella by 30 percent, as observed during the retesting of water samples.
In April, TWW personnel will complete a low-velocity water main flushing plan developed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the federal Environmental Protection Agency to raise the chlorine residual in parts of TWW's 683-mile water distribution system. This will help to control bacteria growth. TWW will provide advance notice of the flushing on its website at trentonwaterworks.org.
In May, TWW will clean and line 2.25 miles of tuberculated 4 to 8-inch diameter water mains in the Liberty/Sykes area of Hamilton Township, a $2.7-million project. This critical work addresses Legionella issues in the local area.
TWW will seek approval for $20.3 million in bond funding to clean and line water mains in the distribution system to reduce the growth of Legionella bacteria and will break ground on a $1.7-million project to install dead-end flushing devices on 180 water mains in its 683-mile water distribution system to reduce biofilm and improve water quality, including chlorine residuals.
As TWW advances its efforts to improve its operations, initiate capital projects, and increase water quality guided by a unilateral agreement with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Mayor Gusciora has appointed Mr. Steven J. Picco to oversee TWW's Legionella response and to be a liaison with state regulators, elected and appointed officials, and service-area mayors. Mr. Picco is a former assistant commissioner at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and a former interim director of Trenton Water Works.
"Steve is an accomplished public servant whose keen knowledge of water systems and the water-industry regulatory framework will help strengthen TWW's existing leadership and provide critical counsel on Legionella and other issues," Mayor Gusciora said.
Starting Friday, April 7, for TWW weekly updates on its Legionella mitigation and general information about Legionnaires disease, visit trentonwaterworks.org and click on the link "Legionnaires' Disease and Your Household Water.