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Building the Capacity of Drinking Water Systems

New Jersey

State Agencies Supporting Water System Partnerships

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP)

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU)

State Policies and Programs Regarding Water System Partnerships


Since contract operators are often used to handle the operation of very small systems, New Jersey developed outlines of operator duties and responsibilities at very small water systems, both community and non-community. These include the time in which operators must be present at the water system after certain MCL violations or other failures.


Costs of acquisition and costs of improvements are eligible for state financing and expedited loan procedures. The acquiring entity can impose a different rate for the customers of the acquired system for use of the services of the acquiring system. 


Through an administrative hearing process, the NJDEP and the BPU can take actions, including acquisitions, and require expenditures (including acquisition costs) to make necessary improvements at small water systems that are in noncompliance with water quality regulations or that have failed to comply with an order of the DEP. At the hearing, DEP must issue an Administrative Consent Order that: sets forth a schedule for compliance for the acquiring entity; stipulates that the acquiring entity is not liable for any fines and penalties resulting from the violations that caused the acquisition (NJ Statute §58:11-63.2 for specific rules applying to the release of liability from the discharge of hazardous substances); provides for the immediate inclusion in the rates of the acquiring entity the anticipated costs of necessary improvements; authorizes the acquiring entity to commence eminent domain proceedings; revokes the franchise of the acquired entity; and renders the owner or operator of the acquired entity unfit to hold any other water franchise. 

Helpful Links to State Resources