WATER QUALITY ACCOUNTABILITY ACT
On July 21, 2017, the Water Quality Accountability Act (WQAA) was signed into law – setting new operational standards for all water utilities across the state of New Jersey. The overall goal is to “improve the safety, reliability and administrative oversight of water infrastructure.” The WQAA sets a new standard of requirements for areas such as cybersecurity, asset management, water quality reporting, Notice of Violation remediation, and hydrant and valve maintenance.
When did it take effect?
Who is impacted?
What are the New Requirements under the WQAA?
- Asset Management: The WQAA requires purveyors of public water, like New Jersey American Water, to create and implement an asset management plan designed to inspect, maintain, repair and renew its infrastructure.
- Hydrant & Valve Maintenance: Purveyors are also required to routinely inspect, maintain and repair valves and fire hydrants throughout the system. Additionally purveyors are required to obtain GPS coordinates for these assets.
- Cybersecurity Program: Purveyors that utilize internet connected control systems are required to create a formal cybersecurity program, in accordance with requirements established by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU).
- Mitigation Plan for Safe Drinking Water Act Violations: As a supplement to the Safe Drinking Water Act, purveyors who exceed a certain number of violations within any 12-month period are required to submit a formal mitigation plan to show how the specific violation will be addressed and a timeline for implementation of the plan.
New Jersey American Water's Certification
In accordance with WQAA guidelines, New Jersey American Water has submitted certifications for all 17 of its systems that serve more than 500 service connections to the State of New Jersey. Those systems include:
- Atlantic County (Atlantic County)
- Belvidere (Warren County)
- Cape May Courthouse (Cape May County)
- Western (Burlington County)
- Harrison (Gloucester County)
- Homestead (Burlington County)
- Little Falls (Passaic County)
- Logan (Gloucester County)
- Monmouth (Monmouth County)
- Mount Holly (Burlington County)
- Ocean City (Cape May County)
- Short Hills (Essex County)
- Penns Grove (Salem County)
- Raritan (Union County)
- Shorelands (Monmouth County)
- Union Beach (Monmouth County)
- Washington/Oxford (Warren County)
Overseen by our Vice President of Operations, New Jersey American Water professionals responsible for the processes relevant to the requirements of the certification examined each requirement at their designated system and certified compliance with those requirements. Completed certifications were submitted to the state in October 2020 and are due annually.
As reflected in the certification submissions, New Jersey American Water is compliant in the following areas, as required by the Department of Environmental Protection – Division of Water Supply & Geoscience:
- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection: www.state.nj.us/dep/watersupply/g_reg-wqaa.html