New Jersey American Water

overall rating:

2.25

planets

Peter Mofokeng
12/22/2021
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New Jersey American Water is the biggest water service provider in the state. NJAW was founded in 1915. They serve 192 communities in over 18 counties. However, you can't choose which water utility services. Every month, you pay the water utility company that services you based on your location and your geographic area's water and sewage infrastructure. New Jersey American Water has a comprehensive sustainability report for 2020, outlining accomplishments and indicators explaining emission targets and solutions it has taken to reach those goals. Water companies are one of the most crucial components of American infrastructure that must be constantly updated for quality, ensuring fair water consumption for all. Water is billed quarterly and is usually in the range of $150 to $300 for a small square footage lot.  NJAW generates over $796.48 million in revenue per year.  It's home to just under 600 employees and falls under the American Water Company umbrella. 

What it's made of:

2.25

Water is drawn from a public community water system comprised of 98 wells, seven surface water intakes, and a single purchased surface water source. Water is sourced from the Millstone River, Raritan River, and Delaware & Raritan Canal. Sourcing also comes from the Brunswick, Stockton, Basalt, Passaic, and Glacial Drift aquifers located throughout New Jersey. NJAW is 100% transparent about its water treatment processes, including the disinfection of aquifer-derived groundwater and surface water with chlorine and chloramines. This process ensures cleaner water quality. Over 126 million gallons of treated water are delivered daily from the New Jersey Water Company to 2.8 million customers. In 2020, 66 miles of water main were replaced and rehabilitated. Water weighs around eight pounds per gallon so pumping water from source and ground waters to treatment facilities and the appropriation framework to individuals' homes requires critical energy measures. By supplanting wasteful pumps in the framework, New Jersey American Water acquires productivity and further diminishes its carbon footprint.

The system uses 92% of surface water and 8% of groundwater and performs over one million tests annually for around 100 regulated contaminants. Testing at NJAW leads all water utility companies nationwide through a team of scientists upholding Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. The EPA establishes limits for contaminants in water consumption, ensuring water quality and public health in conjunction with the US Department of Agriculture. NJAW owns 8,900 miles of water infrastructure pipes in over 191 communities. EchoShoreDX, an acoustic monitoring technology mapping software, detects leaks before they become water breaks, ultimately mitigating water loss. Sensors are installed in water caps to detect leakage, allowing for the rapid identification and resolution of leaks promptly using geographic information system (GIS) software. NJAW estimates that 1.7 million gallons of water are saved every day because of these technologies. The leakage reduction also reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 900,055 tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to removing 170 cars off the street. An estimated 3.308 million kWh of electricity is projected to be saved by early detection of water leaks due to reduced pumping and treating excess water. It's estimated to be in the range of 1.1 billion gallons of water per year.

How it's made:

1.75

The water company uses emission-producing diesel work trucks to access worksites around their wide service area in New Jersey, which is a critical issue. To minimize excessive carbon emissions, NJAW has some workers take their vehicles home with them when their tour of duty ends. Excessive idling was a primary issue that was thwarted by NJAW using Geomanager fleet software that monitors a vehicle fleet of over 500. Allowing workers to take their work vehicles reduces an employee's carbon footprint. However, it isn't the best method, in my opinion, to curb emissions—the best strategy to curb emissions is to provide work incentives alongside fleet management software. I suggest that for every tonne of CO2 saved, there should be a bonus of sort, based on whatever metric the NJAW decides. NJAW should have daily emission reduction targets for crews and drivers that can be rewarded with things like free coffee and pastries for breakfast and free lunch. The employee who contributed the most to emission mitigation should be awarded a bonus like everyone else and something like a vacation subsequently. NJAW has reduced fleet and operation emissions by 36%; they're also working toward an overall reduction of 40% company-wide by 2025. Efforts such as water leakage detection and surface water cleanups are in place to save 3.5 billion gallons of water yearly. It is unknown how up-to-date NJAW's water utility infrastructure is. It is unknown how up-to-date NJAW's water utility infrastructure is. 

Water has to go through treatment processes before it is drinkable for customers. Customers are always encouraged by NJAW to reduce unnecessary water usage as well. NJAW used natural gas and diesel-powered water pumps to funnel water through its system. Water pumping is also facilitated using solar farming but is smaller than its nonrenewable counterparts. NJAW has a solar farm on a reservoir at the Canoe Brook Water Treatment Plant in Millburn, NJ. It's the first one on the east coast to withstand a freeze/thaw environment, which means it can last versus erosion, where ice forms in the cold. The solar array produces 135,000 kilowatt-hours of energy each year, reducing 56 tonnes of carbon emissions. NJAW has solar installations at four surface water treatment and two groundwater treatment facilities. 3.4 million kWh of solar energy is produced annually, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 9,600 metric tons within the last four years. It's sufficient because it offset emissions related to the pumping of groundwater and surface waters.

Who makes it:

2.75

NJAW invests over $350 million annually to strengthen and maintain water infrastructure. In 2020, improvements included system upgrades to water treatment facilities and distribution pipelines. Funding also went to water meters, water mains, pump facilities, tanks, and hydrant improvements. NJAW are recent recipients of the National Association of Water Companies' 2021 Living Water Award, nominating NJAW director Matthew Csik. The award recognized water utility professionals and the excellent service in the communities they serve and for environmental stewardship was recognized for this award on behalf of NJAW. The water utility company takes pride in community engagement, working with community-based partners utilizing volunteers. They ultimately partner with local municipalities on specific projects identifying community-specific needs. Each year, the water utility grants up to $10,000 for community-based projects improving, restoring, and securing source water and watersheds - they also partner with first responders by providing grants up to $2,000. NJAW has a strong workplace safety culture due to unpredictable work sites outside and underground in the field.

For example, NJAW identifies workplace hazards and implement safety measures early on in work projects preventing work-related injuries and accidents. NJAW doesn't compromise employee safety for customer convenience and or profit. Employees are encouraged to report incidents where they feel security is compromised. Also, employees rave about the competitive pay and benefits at this company compared to other water utilities across America. Anonymous reviews indicate appreciation for the water company and many opportunities for advancement and training. The only downside to employment at NJAW is the long hours of job tours and inconsistent work/home balance. After a thorough analysis of this company, I wouldn't mind applying to work here and looking forward to being a prospective employer because of the reviews about career advancement, which means the most to me. Career advancement testimonies indicate a progressive company that doesn't mind fresh ideas and new talent.

Sources:

https://www.amwater.com/njaw/about-us/environmental-stewardship/

https://www.amwater.com/ccr/raritan.pdf

https://www.amwater.com/njaw/About-Us/Environmental-Stewardship/water-loss-management

https://www.wateronline.com/doc/how-new-jersey-american-water-uses-fleet-management-to-lower-fuel-costs-optimize-scheduling-0001

https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/american-water-awk-new-jersey-arm-upgrades-water-mains-2021-10-11

https://www.amwater.com/njaw/About-Us/workplace-safety

https://www.amwater.com/dA/5f33279b9c/WP_Creating_Operational_Efficiencies_white_paper_FINAL.pdf