Verona is making strides in drinking water well remediation efforts

Verona is making strides in drinking water well remediation efforts

Behind the scenes, Verona has been diligently working on upgrading our drinking water wells. These efforts will result in new and improved wells that meet and exceed all NJ standards, which are among the most stringent in the country. With the help of $2M in grants, Verona will be breaking ground this spring on our first well, the Linn Drive Well. The $2M grant has been awarded by the State's Infrastructure Bank to reduce capital costs associated with PFAS treatment facilities. The Township is also fortunate to be entering the construction phase during a competitive bid market which resulted in bid results 33% lower than original cost estimates. The combination of a competitive bid market and the grant award has resulted in Verona being responsible for only $262,337 (or 11.6%) of the $2,262,337 total project cost for the Linn Drive Well. The same benefits are anticipated for the second well, the Fairview Avenue Well, and will be announced as the information is available.

Historically, Verona produces about 50% of our own water through two wells located at Linn Drive and Fairview Avenue. Since 2021, PFAS limitations have caused Verona to purchase 100% of its water supply from the Passaic Valley Water Commission, which is significantly more costly than supplying our own. The upgrades to our drinking water wells will allow the Township to increase our own production, become more self-sufficient and reduce long-term operational costs. A recent study conducted by a professional consultant revealed Verona’s current water and sewer rates are lower than many surrounding townships and not adequate to cover current and future utility needs. Even with the minimal proposed rate increases, Verona rates are still expected to remain in-line with average utility impacts from surrounding townships as they also raise their rates. Quarterly bills for an average residential user will increase from $212 to $239 (12.6% increase). The rates will gradually stabilize over the next five years to approximately 3% annual increases.

Work on the Linn Drive Well is expected to start soon and be completed by the end of 2024. The Fairview Avenue Well will also be placed back in service in 2025. Verona Township has appreciated your patience and understanding as we work towards providing clean and safe drinking water to residents at an affordable cost.

Read the full water rate study here
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