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Why do we have so many water main breaks?
Some parts of Hoboken’s water system are more than 100 years old. The majority of the system is nearing the end of its useful life. As cast iron pipes age, they become brittle and are more prone to break from changes in temperature, pressure fluctuations, or vibrations.

Why are the pipes so old?
Through a series of agreements beginning in 1994, the City of Hoboken sold the rights to the water system until 2024. A 30-year revenue stream of approximately $240 million was sold to United Water (now SUEZ) in exchange for $13.2 million dollars in one-time payments. The existing contract requires Suez to make almost no proactive investment in Hoboken’s water infrastructure. In the past two plus decades, only $350,000 per year was invested in the system, and as a result, only 5% of the system has been upgraded.

What is the City of Hoboken doing to fix the problem?
The City is pursuing two parallel strategies to improve the water distribution infrastructure:

1. Direct investment. The City is directly financing upgrades to Hoboken’s water system. As part of the Washington Street redesign, the City financed a $7 million low-interest loan from the NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT) to upgrade the water mains along Washington Street. The $7 million water main replacement currently underway on Washington Street will upgrade 3% of the system. For project information and construction updates, visit the Washington Street Project website.

The City Council approved Bond Ordinance 16-449, Z-426 and Bond Ordinance 17-340, Z-497, and the City has applied for a low-interest loan from the NJEIT to fund the first phase of implementation. The first phase includes 1.61 miles of water mains that have been designed and are currently under review by NJEIT. Construction on the first phase should begin in 2019, and construction on the second phase should begin in 2020.

The City plans to continue investing $5 million per year in upgrades to the drinking water system. This will be in addition to the $7 million water main replacement on Washington Street that is currently underway, $5.2 million already authorized for the first phase of implementation in 2019, and $5 million already authorized for the second phase of implementation in 2020.

Water System Renewal Program. With support from professional engineering consultants, the City developed a comprehensive water system renewal program to make continued investments in Hoboken’s drinking water infrastructure. The program includes 67 discrete locations for water main replacement to upgrade an additional 20% of the system. See the map below for the 67 water main replacement locations included in the current water system renewal program.

<style>.embed-container {position: relative; padding-bottom: 80%; height: 0; max-width: 100%;} .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container iframe{position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%;} small{position: absolute; z-index: 40; bottom: 0; margin-bottom: -15px;}</style><div class="embed-container"><small><a href="//www.arcgis.com/apps/Embed/index.html?webmap=cad79bc3e6034304b78ff46da8247938&extent=-74.0597,40.7373,-73.9995,40.7593&zoom=true&scale=true&legend=true&disable_scroll=true&theme=light" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left" target="_blank">View larger map</a></small><br><iframe width="500" height="400" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" title="Hoboken Water System Renewal Plan" src="//www.arcgis.com/apps/Embed/index.html?webmap=cad79bc3e6034304b78ff46da8247938&extent=-74.0597,40.7373,-73.9995,40.7593&zoom=true&previewImage=false&scale=true&legend=true&disable_scroll=true&theme=light"></iframe></div>

Click here to review the Hoboken Water System Renewal Program

2. Rebidding the Operations Contract. The City has prepared a request for proposals (RFP) to procure a contract operator for the water system. Included in this RFP is the draft contract for the operator and a Best Management Practices (BMP) manual that defines the technical, administrative, and performance standards for the operation and maintenance of the drinking water distribution system. The BMP manual was developed to provide industry accepted standards which the operator will be required to follow to transform Hoboken’s water system into a reliable, well-operated system. The BMP manual also requires the operator to update the water system renewal plan on an annual basis.

Hoboken Water System

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Hoboken Water System

Why do we have so many water main breaks?
Some parts of Hoboken’s water system are more than 100 years old. The majority of the system is nearing the end of its useful life. As cast iron pipes age, they become brittle and are more prone to break from changes in temperature, pressure fluctuations, or vibrations.

Why are the pipes so old?
Through a series of agreements beginning in 1994, the City of Hoboken sold the rights to the water system until 2024. A 30-year revenue stream of approximately $240 million was sold to United Water (now SUEZ) in exchange for $13.2 million dollars in one-time payments. The existing contract requires Suez to make almost no proactive investment in Hoboken’s water infrastructure. In the past two plus decades, only $350,000 per year was invested in the system, and as a result, only 5% of the system has been upgraded.

What is the City of Hoboken doing to fix the problem?
The City is pursuing two parallel strategies to improve the water distribution infrastructure:

1. Direct investment. The City is directly financing upgrades to Hoboken’s water system. As part of the Washington Street redesign, the City financed a $7 million low-interest loan from the NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT) to upgrade the water mains along Washington Street. The $7 million water main replacement currently underway on Washington Street will upgrade 3% of the system. For project information and construction updates, visit the Washington Street Project website.

The City Council approved Bond Ordinance 16-449, Z-426 and Bond Ordinance 17-340, Z-497, and the City has applied for a low-interest loan from the NJEIT to fund the first phase of implementation. The first phase includes 1.61 miles of water mains that have been designed and are currently under review by NJEIT. Construction on the first phase should begin in 2019, and construction on the second phase should begin in 2020.

The City plans to continue investing $5 million per year in upgrades to the drinking water system. This will be in addition to the $7 million water main replacement on Washington Street that is currently underway, $5.2 million already authorized for the first phase of implementation in 2019, and $5 million already authorized for the second phase of implementation in 2020.

Water System Renewal Program. With support from professional engineering consultants, the City developed a comprehensive water system renewal program to make continued investments in Hoboken’s drinking water infrastructure. The program includes 67 discrete locations for water main replacement to upgrade an additional 20% of the system. See the map below for the 67 water main replacement locations included in the current water system renewal program.

<style>.embed-container {position: relative; padding-bottom: 80%; height: 0; max-width: 100%;} .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container iframe{position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%;} small{position: absolute; z-index: 40; bottom: 0; margin-bottom: -15px;}</style><div class="embed-container"><small><a href="//www.arcgis.com/apps/Embed/index.html?webmap=cad79bc3e6034304b78ff46da8247938&extent=-74.0597,40.7373,-73.9995,40.7593&zoom=true&scale=true&legend=true&disable_scroll=true&theme=light" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left" target="_blank">View larger map</a></small><br><iframe width="500" height="400" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" title="Hoboken Water System Renewal Plan" src="//www.arcgis.com/apps/Embed/index.html?webmap=cad79bc3e6034304b78ff46da8247938&extent=-74.0597,40.7373,-73.9995,40.7593&zoom=true&previewImage=false&scale=true&legend=true&disable_scroll=true&theme=light"></iframe></div>

Click here to review the Hoboken Water System Renewal Program

2. Rebidding the Operations Contract. The City has prepared a request for proposals (RFP) to procure a contract operator for the water system. Included in this RFP is the draft contract for the operator and a Best Management Practices (BMP) manual that defines the technical, administrative, and performance standards for the operation and maintenance of the drinking water distribution system. The BMP manual was developed to provide industry accepted standards which the operator will be required to follow to transform Hoboken’s water system into a reliable, well-operated system. The BMP manual also requires the operator to update the water system renewal plan on an annual basis.

knowledge base: faqs



Does the Shade Tree Commission have a list of trees that they recommend for planting? View the approved list of tree species.

Who should trim the tree in front of my house? Please contact David Calamoneri.

I know of a tree that I believe is dying or is dangerous, who should I contact? Please contact David Calamoneri.

How do I become a volunteer for the Shade Tree Commission? Please contact Peter Bakarich III.

How do I apply to be a commissioner on the Shade Tree Commission? Submit an application for appointment to citizen advisory boards and commissions.

When does the Hoboken Shade Tree commission meet? Click here to view the meeting dates for 2015.

What are the benefits and reasons for planting trees in Hoboken? Read about 13 Reasons to plant trees.

How can I find out info on the tree(s) on my Street? View the Hoboken Tree Inventory.

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