The City of Hoboken today announced the next phase of the Water Main Replacement Project, which will upgrade 11 blocks of water mains on the City's west side.
The project, scheduled to begin this year, will replace approximately 4,800 linear feet of water mains on:
The City has applied for low interest loans from the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank for these improvements and would not utilize funding from the 2022 municipal budget.
Since launching the Water Main Replacement Project in 2018, Hoboken has installed over 13,000 linear feet of new water mains, including the installation of new water mains along Washington Street as a part of the Washington Street Redesign Project.
The proactive water infrastructure improvements, achievable through the 2019 restructured agreement with SUEZ, have resulted in fewer water main breaks, increasing residents' quality of life. Specifically, last year, Hoboken had a total of 12 water main breaks, almost half the total of water main breaks in 2020, and a stark contrast compared to the 34 water main breaks that occurred in 2013.
The upgrades have also resulted in a cost savings of approximately $100,000 per year in emergency repairs since the implementation of the 2019 SUEZ agreement.
"Over the past few years, we've made historic investments in our water main infrastructure, and the numbers speak loud and clear: less water main breaks, savings on emergency repairs, and concrete plans for more upgrades on 11 more blocks," said Mayor Bhalla. "We will continue to prioritize Hoboken's underground infrastructure to protect our quality of life, after decades of neglect."
To further ensure high-quality service, the Hoboken Water Utility is currently developing a city-wide initiative to verify pipe materials and implement a lead service line replacement program following New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's adoption of amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act and Municipal and County Utilities Authorities Law.
The lead service line replacement program, which will be finalized and announced this July, will seek to replace all lead services lines in the City by 2031, at a rate of at least 10% of known lead service lines per year.
This year, the Hoboken Water Utility will also launch a rate study with engineering firm CDM Smith, seeking to account for future critical water infrastructure investments and to stabilize consumer rate increases after the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority increased the costs of bulk water by nearly 13%.
As bulk water accounts for roughly half of the Hoboken Water Utility budget, the Hoboken City Council approved a 7% Water Utility rate increase this year to cover the cost of the non-negotiable JCMUA imposed bulk water rate increase. This means the average quarterly bill for a family of four will increase by an estimated $14.98 starting in March.
Historically, Hoboken has never raised water rates for residents beyond the Consumer Price Index, and this increase is solely due to the JCMUA's non-negotiable rate increase.
To learn more about the city-wide initiative to verify pipe materials and implement a lead service line replacement program, go to www.hobokennj.gov/resources/water-service-line-inventory-information.