THIS STORY CONTAINS NEW INFORMATION & QUOTES FROM SUEZ WATER In keeping with a recent state mandate, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis announced that Suez Water has provided city officials with a list of properties that specifies which have lead services lines and which properties do not. Service lines are the pipes that connect buildings to the water mains in the street.
The same database also shows the properties that have galvanized service lines, non-lead service lines, and service lines with an unknown status. On July 22, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy passed amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act and Municipal and County Utilities Authorities Law that address Community Public Water Systems’ obligations for managing lead in drinking water. This is not an initiative specific to Bayonne—it is being carried out statewide.
Mayor Davis said, “As required by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Suez Water has provided the City of Bayonne the required information for posting on our municipal website. The database is immense, but it does allow for our residents and property owners to search it by property address to find out the status of the service lines leading into their homes and buildings.”
According to SUEZ Water Communications & Community Relations Manager Chris Halleron, “It’s important for residents to understand that Lead is not present in the water supplied to the City of Bayonne and there are no lead water mains. Bayonne’s water has been safely treated by North Jersey District Water Supply Commission (NJDWSC) since 1928. However, decades ago, lead was commonly used in the smaller service lines flowing from the mains into individual properties, or within indoor plumbing systems. If your home was built prior to June 1986, there remains a possibility that it contains lead or galvanized materials—including the service line, solder used in the bonding fixtures and pipes, and bathroom/kitchen fixtures.”
In an email to Hudson TV, Halleron went on to say, “Well before those amendments were enacted last July, the City of Bayonne and SUEZ have been proactively taking steps to mitigate the potential for lead entering the water from those sources. Customers should be advised that Bayonne’s water system is treated under standards set by NJDEP Water Quality Parameters to prevent lead and copper from leaching into the drinking water by creating a coating on the inner walls of the pipes. This treatment has been established as a safe and effective strategy for water utilities nationwide, and the City of Bayonne’s water utility also does regular Water Quality Parameter and Lead & Copper testing as per the Lead & Copper Rule, to monitor the treatment’s effectiveness.”
Suez Water began compiling data about service lines a few years ago when it placed new water meters in Bayonne properties. The database is available for the public to search online on the City of Bayonne website, which is www.bayonnenj.org. Mayor Davis said, “Unlike most communities, we are very fortunate that Bayonne already has an existing service line status database and we have been able to identity the properties with lead service lines. Having a completed database puts us in a much better position to attack this issue as quickly as possible.” Mayor Davis continued, “Suez Water is responsible for the database and the way in which it is laid out. Their list is not arranged in street order. As a service to our residents, the City of Bayonne added a way for residents and property owners to save time and search for their addresses quickly in Suez Water’s list of more than 12,000 addresses. In some cases, neighboring houses claim the same house number. By using block and lot numbers, people should be able to determine which service line information goes with which house.”
To find an address in the database:
- Press Ctrl+F, or go to Home > Find & Select > Find.
- In the Find What: box, type the text, addresses or numbers you want to find. Click Find Next to run your search.
- When searching, use E for East and W for West.
- Use ST for STREET.
- Sometimes the list uses AV for Avenue, and sometimes it uses AVENUE for Avenue. If AV does not produce results, then try AVENUE. If AVENUE does not produce results, then try AV.
According to Suez Water, there are 12,245 service lines connected to the Bayonne water system. Each type of service line has an abbreviation in the database. Out of that total, the majority (8,376, or about 68%) are non-lead (NL) lines. There are 2,335 properties with lead (L) lines. Another 338 have galvanized (G) lines. Suez Water has combined the Lead (L) and the Galvanized (G). Suez added Lead (L) lines and Galvanized (G) lines into a list it calls “known lead service lines,” which represents about 21% (2,673) of the total. An additional 1,196, or nearly 10% of the total, are counted as “Lead Status Unknown,” or UL. The Lead, Galvanized and “Lead Status Unknown” lines all need to be replaced.
Mayor Davis said, “The City of Bayonne will be working with Suez Water to find federal and/or state funding to pay for the replacement of lead service lines and the other lines that need to be changed out. Our goal is to obtain new service lines for our affected residents and property owners as quickly and efficiently as possible. In the coming weeks and months, we will have additional announcements to make as we develop a system for installing new service lines.”
Suez Water has prepared a list of questions and answers about lead service lines. That material is on the City website, along with the database of addresses and their lead service line status.
Halleron concluded by saying, “There is no cause for panic—the water in our system is safe. What is being done now by the City of Bayonne will help to ensure that any possible source of contamination between the water main and the home is ultimately removed.”
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