Aug 08, 2019

New Jersey Lake Affected by Algae Blooms

New Jersey loses an estimated 130 million gal of drinking water every day

New Jersey loses an estimated 130 million gal of drinking water every day

New Jersey’s Lake Hopatcong has had a major issue with algae blooms. According to NJ Spotlight, the lake has remained closed due to a record-setting algae bloom that also has affected other New Jersey lakes this summer.

According to NJ Spotlight, Dan Kennedy believes this indicates a larger problem of its current water infrastructure system overall condition. 

Earlier this year the state DEP commissioner estimated that the cost of replacing all lead-service lines in the state to deal with lead-contaminated water would be up to $2.3 billion.

“Lake Hopatcong is just another micro-emergency,’’ said Kennedy, director of environmental and utility operation at the Utility & Transportation Contractors Assn., according to NJ Spotlight. “We are bouncing from one issue to the next.’’

New Jersey loses an estimated 130 million gal of drinking water every day before the water reaches customers. According to NJ Spotlight, more than 200 combined-sewer outfalls dump untreated sewage into New Jersey waters during heavy rainfall.

The algae blooms stem from this summer’s high temperatures and heavy rainfall. According to NJ Spotlight, the rain washed fertilizers and nutrients into lakes from storm water systems. The U.S. EPA estimates that upgrading those systems could cost around $16 billion, and fixing the drinking water system would be around $8 billion. Also, it would cost more than $9 billion to address the combined sewer overflows, according to NJ Spotlight

Kennedy also is a former assistant commissioner of water at the state Department of Environmental Protection, according to NJ Spotlight. He said the state needs a long-term plan to address the needs of its water infrastructure.

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