At the Jan. 16 Council meeting, Mayor Kazmark expressed his concern over the recent decision by the Passaic Valley Water Commission (PVWC) to allow the state to construct two water tanks at the Levine Reservoir in Paterson.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had ordered the PVWC to cover or re-treat the water that it stores in open-air reservoirs to protect drinking water against fecal contamination left by birds and other wildlife and runoff.
“This decision moves us even closer to the same decision being made for the New Street and Great Notch Reservoirs in Woodland Park,” Kazmark said. “We’ve had no public updates as to the progress between PVWC and the City of Newark in sharing the cost for a joint treatment plant in Cedar Grove which would help preserve the Great Notch Reservoir; nor have we heard any possible alternatives for New Street.”
He said the Borough would ramp up its efforts in asking questions, getting updates and working to preserve and protect the reservoirs.
The PVWC’s plan, which is estimated to cost its customers about $135 million, is to drain and replace the Levine, New Street and Great Notch reservoirs. It has faced serious and strong opposition. Residents are concerned, not only with the cost of the project, but with aesthetic issues of the tanks and the impact on the ecosystem and wildlife.