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Posted on: August 24, 2022

Trenton-Based Scientists Tackle Testing at TWW's Century-old Reservoir

Trenton-Based Scientists Tackle Testing at TWW's Century-old Reservoir

TRENTON, NJ – After relocating their headquarters to the Capital City, Trenton Water Works is working with Princeton Hydro to conduct enhanced water-quality monitoring at the 123-year-old Pennington Avenue Reservoir.

In service since 1899, the reservoir holds approximately 100 million gallons of finished water. The engineering firm has been awarded a $27,000, three-month emergency contract which requires Princeton Hydro to assist water-filtration plant personnel in conducting specialized testing and monitoring day-to-day water quality at the Pennington Avenue Reservoir. Founded in 1998, Princeton Hydro has significant expertise in natural and aquatic resource management and water resource engineering.

"We've hired Princeton Hydro to provide expert consultation on recent outbreaks of small insects known as midges, which feed on algae, and to help mitigate future algae growth. There are occurrences in two parts of our water system: the reservoir and a home in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Ewing Township," said Mark A. Lavenberg, Director of the city's Department of Water and Sewer, which operates Trenton Water Works. "We are looking forward to working with a company that has committed to Trenton as a place to do business, strengthening our city's economy."

The Pennington Avenue Reservoir is one of three open-air reservoirs in New Jersey. It is also one of the oldest parts of the water utility's infrastructure. However, it is essentially a Class 4 dam that is prone to leaks and has become an outdated way of protecting and managing a multimillion-gallon water supply for a five-municipality service area, noted Lavenberg, a water industry veteran.

"To be on par with modern water-industry standards, we're advancing a comprehensive plan to take the reservoir offline and replace it with several decentralized storage tanks, starting with two 8-million-gallon tanks at a Prospect Street site in Trenton," Lavenberg said.

In 2019, Trenton Water Works developed a $405-million, six-year capital plan to undertake critical capital projects within its central pumping station, water-filtration plant and distribution system, installing two-way communicating water meters, and decentralized finished water storage. These projects are designed to maintain high water quality and make the 163-year-old public water system more resilient. TWW's capital plan is part of Mayor Reed Gusciora's promise to reverse the neglect of the water utility in previous years and to modernize Trenton’s water treatment, distribution, storage, and technological capabilities.

Princeton Hydro relocated to Trenton from Ringoes, NJ in May 2022 to the Block-3 adaptive reuse rehabilitated portion of the Roebling Industrial Complex, which includes Roebling Lofts. They were the first recipient of the City's Job Creation Loan program.

Purchased by the City of Trenton in 1859, Trenton Water Works is one of the oldest and largest publicly owned water systems in the United States. TWW supplies approximately 28 million gallons of water per day to a quarter-million consumers in a five-municipality service area comprised of Trenton, Ewing Township, parts of Hamilton Township, Lawrence Township, and Hopewell Township. TWW operates a 60-million-gallon water-filtration plant and water-distribution system that consists of a 100-million-gallon reservoir, 683 miles of water mains, three pump stations, nearly 8,000 valves, 3,517 fire hydrants, and six interconnections between TWW and other water suppliers. TWW serves approximately 63,000 metered customers.


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