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The New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is currently conducting the 2022 Clean Watersheds Needs Survey (or CWNS) and encouraging you to participate in the survey and ask for your cooperation in collecting needs information of wastewater infrastructure, stormwater - grey and green infrastructure and non-point source pollution control projects including the needs for decentralized wastewater (or septic) systems.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), in partnership with the State of New Jersey and other states, surveys communities every four years to identify any water quality or public health-based capital needs (up to 20 years) and costs in your community.  The results are published in a Report to Congress, and it is used by Congress and state legislatures in their budgeting efforts.

Every four years, New Jersey State participates in CWNS and collects the information about:

  • Publicly owned wastewater collection and treatment facilities;
  • Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) control facilities;
  • Stormwater management activities;
  • Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution control projects; and
  • Decentralized wastewater treatment facilities.

Information collected about these facilities and projects includes:

  • Estimated needs to address water quality or water quality related public health problems;
  • Costs and technical information;
  • Location and contact information;
  • Facility populations served, flow, effluent, and unit process information; and
  • NPS best management practices (BMPs).

A need is defined as an unfunded project and associated capital costs that address water quality or water-quality-related public health problems existing as of January 1, 2022, or expected to occur within the next 20 years (by December 31, 2041).

For needs to be included in the Clean Water Needs Survey report, there must be a capital need of projects that address water-quality-related public health problems, documented solutions or cost estimates, and meet CWNS documentation criteria. It does not include the Operation and Maintenance costs.

CWNS is the only needs assessment available nationwide that collects the needs information of wastewater infrastructure, stormwater - grey and green infrastructure, non-point source pollution control projects including the needs for the decentralized wastewater (or septic) system.

Other than the data collected from the CWNS being used by Congress and state legislatures in their budgeting efforts, data are also used to help measure environmental progress, contribute to academic research, provide information to the public, and help local and state governments implement water quality programs.

This data can influence the allocation of funds for future special grants or funding programs. For example, the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal grants (OSG) program in FY 2021.

In New Jersey, we use the needs assessment in our GAP analysis by comparing future needs data with available funding resources, and based on this GAP analysis, New Jersey develops the Clean Water State Revolving Fund funding budgets and packages.

There are several wastewater, stormwater, and nonpoint source control project categories listed within the Needs Survey. Additionally, apart from Water Reuse and Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems categories, a new category has been added for Desalination needs.

To participate in the survey, first identify any water quality or public health-based capital needs (up to 20 years) and costs in your community that were not funded by January 1, 2022. Then, submit these community needs by completing the online survey form and uploading any supporting documentation describing your community's new needs and costs. 

CWNS online webpage registration and login instructions:

  1. Go to https://www.h2loans.com/public/needs-survey/login
  2. For your initial usage, please click on the "Click here to Register" button.
  3. Enter your registration information including your email and click "Log-In".
  4. A confirmation email will be sent to you containing a list of all your surveys.
  5. To create a new survey, click the "Start New Survey" button.
  6. You must submit any open survey before you may create another.

If you have any questions about the CWNS or need assistance in filling out the form, our office will provide technical support. If you have identified your needs but lack the supporting cost documentation, our staff can provide alternative means of documenting these costs or assist you by using a cost estimation tool.  Please contact Ketan Patel or Kyle Carlson at 609-292-3114 or email at NJCWNS22@dep.nj.gov.

Small Community (Population ≤ 10,000): Small communities that serve a residential population less than or equal to 10,000, may not have planning documents that address their infrastructure needs. Therefore, EPA has developed survey forms, that small communities can use to include their needs in the survey.

Existing planning documents: If cost estimates (or documents showing cost) already exist for projects at your facility, please upload the documents containing the estimates by logging in to https://www.h2loans.com/public/needs-survey/login. You may also submit the documents via email at NJCWNS22@dep.nj.gov, or call 609-292-3114 for further assistance.

Estimates certified by a local or state professional engineer: Use this small community form, complete the “PE Certified Cost Estimates section”, and have it signed by a local professional engineer (PE). If you do not have a local PE on the staff, please indicate so to request state PE certification. Finally, sign the “Local Official Certification” section and send (via mail) the completed and signed form. You may also submit the documents via email at NJCWNS22@dep.nj.gov, or call at 609-292-3114 for further assistance.

EPA’s cost estimation tools: Use this small community form and fill out the “Cost Estimation Tools” section. Finally, sign the “Local Official Certification” section and send (via mail) the completed and signed form. You may also submit the documents via email at NJCWNS22@dep.nj.gov, or call 609-292-3114 for further assistance.