Trenton Water Works Plant

TWW Begins Phased Roll Out of Corrosion Control Project on December 3

Trenton, N.J. — Demonstrating Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora’s commitment to maintaining high water quality, Trenton Water Works (TWW) announced today that it would begin a phased rollout of its corrosion-control project on December 3. The project will introduce zinc orthophosphate into a portion of TWW’s water-distribution system to prevent lead from leaching into the drinking water from the 36,700 lead water-service lines and household plumbing fixtures in TWW’s service area. Corroded water-service lines are often a source of lead contamination in drinking water.

“TWW started performing analysis and laying the groundwork for this important project in February 2018,” said Steven J. Picco, Acting Director of the city’s Department of Water and Sewer, which operates the 200-year-old Trenton Water Works. “Combined with our $15 million capital project to replace thousands of lead and galvanized steel service lines in the TWW system and at private residences, this comprehensive work will substantially prevent lead from leaching into the drinking water from service lines and household plumbing fixtures with lead solder.” 

Orthophosphate is a tasteless, odorless, food-grade additive that is considered safe by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A corrosion inhibitor, orthophosphate forms a protective coating inside lead and galvanized steel service lines and household plumbing fixtures to prevent lead particles from leaching into the drinking water. 

In Phase 1 starting on Tuesday, December 3, TWW will begin adding orthophosphate to portions of its 683-mile water-distribution system—the City of Trenton, Ewing Township, Lawrence Township, parts of Hamilton Township and Hopewell Township. TWW’s engineering assessment of the water-distribution system indicates that orthophosphate will reach its maximum effectiveness in 10-12 months. Water samples taken from one hundred sites in the TWW system are tested monthly for lead.

In Phase 2 of the project, orthophosphate will be introduced into the gravity area of the TWW system once TWW completes water-distribution system and water-treatment system improvements.

As orthophosphate is added to TWW’s water-treatment process, service-area residents may see brown or discolored water from their taps, a harmless condition rectified by running the cold-water tap until the water is clear. In the months ahead, residents may see TWW technicians opening fire hydrants to flush water mains and perform water-quality monitoring. Customers located near flushing areas may notice temporary brown or discolored water. To clear discolored water, residents should run cold taps at the lowest point (such as the kitchen faucet) in the home or larger building until the water runs clear. If it is still not clear, wait about 30 minutes and try running the cold-water tap again. If the issue persists, contact TWW’s construction and maintenance department at (609) 989-3222 and a technician can troubleshoot the issue at your property.

Trenton Water Works is among the largest publicly owned, urban water utilities in the United States. It supplies an average of 27 million gallons of Delaware River-sourced drinking water per day to 63,000 metered customers. It services more than 200,000 people in Trenton, parts of Hamilton Township, Ewing Township, Lawrence Township and Hopewell Township in Mercer County, New Jersey. Established more than 200 years ago, TWW operates a 60-million-gallon water-filtration plant and water-distribution system that includes a 100-million-gallon reservoir. TWW’s system has 683 miles of water mains varying in size from 4 to 48 inches in diameter, three pump stations, and six interconnections between TWW and other water suppliers.

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