CLIFTON, N.J., Oct. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- For more than six weeks, some customers of the Passaic Valley Water Commission (PVWC) had to boil their water before drinking it or using it for cooking. Now, PVWC has announced they will issue a credit to those customers.
The Boil Water Notice was issued after remnants of Hurricane Ida caused stormwater to overflow and contaminate the 52-million-gallon New Street Reservoir. The open-air reservoir is where drinking water is stored, for up to two weeks, after it's treated but before it's delivered to customers.
Acknowledging the inconvenience that was caused to customers, PVWC will apply an estimated $1 million in credits to about 40,000 residential and commercial water accounts in the impacted area. The credit, of $25 per account should begin appearing on customer's bills around the beginning of November and continue through the 90-day billing cycle.
To determine the appropriate size of the credit, PVWC considered the following facts:
- Of all water used by customers, only 10-20% is used to cook or drink, and could still be consumed after it was boiled. The remaining 80-90% is for washing clothes, bathing, and similar uses, which were not impacted.
- The vast majority of customers pay a quarterly fixed service charge which includes some water usage, but also includes the cost of operating and maintaining the overall system. The credit is equal to about one-third of the quarterly fixed service charge.
- Customers that used more than the minimum amount of water will not receive a greater credit because their use above-average amounts of water indicated they were not restricted by the situation.
- In addition to the cost of the credit to impacted customers, PVWC spent an additional $3 million to restore water quality in the reservoir, flush over 550 miles of water mains and 4,000 hydrants, and providing bottled drinking water to customers in the impacted areas.
- Finally, the size of the credit had to be weighed against the need to provide some relief, without placing additional expense on customers that did not live in the impacted area.
PVWC knows there is no way to sufficiently compensate customers for the inconvenience, stress and anxiety caused by the extended boil water notice. The credit, however, is offered as a token gesture to indicate the appreciation of the impact this had on customers. PVWC remains committed to replacing the open reservoirs with enclosed water tanks so that situations like this can be avoided in the future.
Lendel Jones, JGSC Group
Passaic Valley Water Commission
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SOURCE Passaic Valley Water Commission