Summarizing all sample results from the calendar year 2021, New Jersey American Water's latest Water Quality Reports show no violations among their 33 systems.

That is an obvious positive, said Matthew Csik, director of water quality and environmental compliance, but there is even more for the utility's 2.8 million customers to like.

"Despite all the challenges to groundwater and some of our surface waters in the state, the finished, treated water that we're delivering to customers on a day-to-day basis meets all federal and state water quality parameters," Csik said.

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All water systems must issue annual consumer confidence reports to users, according to Csik, but it is helpful if those evaluations go above and beyond the bare minimum of what is required.

"One of the things that we take great pride in is we have emerging contaminants of concern, things that people have heard of like PFAS, that is, generated through Teflon and fire preventive materials and firefighting foams," he said. "We all know that trust is hard-earned, but it's really easily lost if there's even a perception that a water provider is not being transparent."

Csik credited the New Jersey legislature with being very aggressive in enacting measures to replace aging and potentially hazardous infrastructure in many of its older cities.

That too is reflected in New Jersey American Water's reports, designed to provide reassurance to customers that their exposure to contaminants in drinking water is being mitigated whether or not their specific homes were tested.

"Not only, when we test for lead, do we test at the highest-risk locations in our systems, but now we're actually on a 10-year program to identify, replace, and renew all of those lead and galvanized services," Csik said.

Anyone concerned about the quality of their drinking water should read these annual reports and know what their utility is doing regardless of who that provider is, according to Csik.

And if you don't see something in the report, say something: New Jersey American Water customers can request a hard copy of this year's report for their area by calling 800-272-1325.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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NJ beach tags guide for summer 2022

We're coming up on another summer at the Jersey Shore! Before you get lost in the excitement of sunny days on the sand, we're running down how much seasonal/weekly/daily beach tags will cost you, and the pre-season deals you can still take advantage of!

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

Every NJ pizza joint Barstool's Dave Portnoy has reviewed

Dave Portnoy, commonly known as El Presidente, is the founder of Barstool Sports. Somewhere along the way, he decided to start reviewing local pizzerias, and the concept took off. Here is every New Jersey pizzeria Dave has stopped in, along with the score he gave them.