For years, Trenton Water Works has been plagued by a series of contamination and discoloration problems that have resulted in multiple boil water advisories.

And on several occasions TWW failed to notify customers in Trenton, as well as Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell and Lawrence of water quality issues in a timely manner, several state and municipal officials say. On one occasion a few years ago, the water coming out of the tap was purple (officials said it was still safe to drink).

A new plan could soon take effect to change things.

The New Jersey Legislature has approved a measure that would require boil water notices to be given to the mayor and city clerk in all towns served by TWW within one hour of an issue being discovered.

Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora said he supports the move.

“For the past year that I’ve been here, we’ve been working on making sure timely notification does indeed go out,” he said. "And this measure ensures when there is a shutdown or breakdown that there will be timely notification to our customers.”

Gusciora stressed his city has been working to improve things, whether a bill was passed or not.

He said the legislation, which could soon be signed into law by the governor, brings the city of Trenton and other public utilities “in parity with private utilities, which are required by law to send timely notices,"

In the past, Trenton Water Works has been criticized for not having enough trained employees to run its operation smoothly but Gusciora said the workforce is now 90 percent full. He stressed efforts to improve water quality and communication are ongoing.

“We’ve made a number of system upgrades, so we’re doing everything we can to make sure that it’s a water company that people can have faith in," Gusciora said.  “We want to make sure that our customers feel they have a high-quality deliverable product, and that their water is clean, and if there are any malfunctions or hiccups they will be promptly notified.”


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He also said TWW is beginning lead line service replacements to cover three surrounding communities, plus Trenton itself. Older service lines that run into homes and businesses in Hamilton and Lawrence are being replaced this month, and work will get underway in Ewing next month.

"We’re making improvements to the utility and we care about our customers, and we want to make sure that they maintain their confidence in their water utility," he said.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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