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Wanaque Reservoir Under Dirty Water Threat

Date : Thu, 17 May 2012 17:00:16 -0400

For Immediate Release
May 15, 2012 Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

Wanaque Reservoir Under Dirty Water Threat

Fourteen environmental, faith-based, and community groups have called on the DEP to hold a public hearing on a proposal to take millions more gallons of water out of the Wanaque Reservoir each day.The North Jersey District Water Supply Commission has proposed to the "safe yield" of the largest reservoir system in the state.Currently 173 million gallons per day (MGD) can be taken but this would be increased to 190 MGD under a new proposal.This raises serious concerns for our water quality and could impact the drinking water supply for over 2 million people.A public hearing would give residents the opportunity to learn more and comment on a proposal that will have serious impacts on our water supply.

"Calling it an increase in the safe yield is an oxymoron. It is really a dangerous game of manipulating our reservoir and threatening our water supply with more pollution.Increasing the yield on paper does not mean that it is actually feasible without serious impacts to water quality and the water supply.The DEP needs to review all the potential impacts and hold a public hearing disclosing those findings before moving forward with this proposal that will impact the drinking water for so many people," said Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club. The organizations contend that the DEP has not provided any data to prove that their plan to increase the "safe yield" is in fact safe and has not demonstrated that the reservoir can safely yield the proposed increased volume without harming other uses, water quality, and habitat. The New Jersey Water Supply Master Plan has not been updated since 1995, making it impossible to determine all the consequences this proposal will have on the water supply.The plan does not include a developments built since the last update, but that still rely on the reservoir for drinking water.Taking more water from the system could not only impact the Reservoir but also interconnected water bodies like the Ramapo, Passaic, and Pompton Rivers by creating drought/ low flow conditions and deteriorating water quality. The groups are also concerned that by taking more water out of the Reservoir they will need to pump more water back into the Reservoir system from the Pompton and lower Passaic Rivers.Pollution from downstream would be pumped back into our reservoirs, potentially increasing the concentration of pollutants in the Passaic and the Reservoir.

-- 
Kate Millsaps
Program Assistant
NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club
609-656-7612
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Received on 2012-05-17 14:00:16

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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