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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2005

Contact: Fred Mumford
(609) 984-1795

DEP ALLOWS EMERGENCY WATER HOOKUPS IN TOMS RIVER AREA

United Water Fined for Exceeding Allocation and Failure to Obtain Required Permits

(05/125) TRENTON -- To provide residents and businesses moving into the Toms River area with a secure source of drinking water, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today allowed limited emergency water hookups to the United Water Toms River system. DEP also fined United Water of Toms River $104,000 for exceeding its state water allocation permit from 1999 through 2004 and constructing water main extensions without a required state permit.

In July 1999 and July 2002, United Water Toms River violated its monthly water allocation limit, which allows the use of 554 million gallons per month. In 2001, 2002 and 2004, United Water Toms River violated its annual allocation limit of 4,282 million gallons per year. In addition, United Water constructed water main extensions from 1997 through 2005 without the required state permits.

"Toms River residents and businesses who were inappropriately promised water in the past and who proceeded in good faith now have a solution," said Commissioner Campbell. "With United Water's commitment to short-term actions outlined in the order, we will allow connections to provide drinking water for new service to eliminate any hardships."

DEP signed an administrative consent order with United Water Toms River today, which sets the monetary fine and agreements on future service.

To address the short-term problem, United Water secured additional water supply from Manchester Township Water Utility in September 2005 to purchase a maximum of 1.25 million gallons per day. The water company also recently secured an additional .5 million gallons per day until the end of 2005 from New Jersey American Water Company. Due to these actions, DEP will allow United Water Toms River to provide water service to any customer who was issued a "willingess to serve" letter prior to September 1, 2005 and any adjacent properties, also know as in-fill, as identified by the company as of October 20, 2005. This condition allows United Water Toms River to supply a total of 300 service connections where individuals have a financial commitment and are facing a hardship.

DEP ordered United Water Toms River to submit a complete and comprehensive permit application for water main extensions, water main replacements and connections that will be served by allowing limited emergency hookups to existing mains. To promote conservation, DEP also ordered United Water Toms River to petition all municipalities within its service area to adopt a resolution implementing water use restrictions.

Under the DEP order, United Water Toms River must still obtain required permits before any new extension or connections are made to development projects that have not been identified as in urgent need of connection. Furthermore, such service connections will be not allowed by DEP until United Water Toms River has secured adequate water allocation capacity.

DEP is reviewing a request from United Water Toms River to increase its monthly and annual water allocation limits. This application was deemed administratively complete earlier this month and is under technical review.

 

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NJDEP Water Supply Administration
http://www.state.nj.us/dep/watersupply/

 

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Last Updated: November 28, 2005