New Jersey American Water to buy Long Hill Twp. sewer system

New Jersey American Water announced on Thursday it will acquire the wastewater assets of the township of Long Hill for $12.7 million.

Long Hill’s sewer system serves approximately 2,800 customers with most already receiving service from New Jersey American Water.

“I want to thank the elected officials and residents of Long Hill Township for entrusting us with the care and improvement of their sewer system,” Cheryl Norton, president of New Jersey American Water, said.  “Providing water and wastewater service is all we do, and as Long Hill’s water company for more than 110 years, we are deeply committed to making the needed improvements to ensure the community’s sewer service is as safe, reliable and affordable as the water service we provide.  We look forward to getting started and will work tirelessly to deliver upon the commitments we made in the last few months.”

Under the deal, New Jersey American Water will invest about$13 million to improve the town’s sewer systems over the next five years while freezing the current customer sewer rate for two years and increasing the rate by no more than 3% annually for the three years that follow. Improvements include pump and treatment station upgrades, sewer main lining, replacements to reduce stormwater infiltration, and sewer and water pipeline replacements.

“I am grateful to the voters for recognizing that selling the system to New Jersey American Water is the best solution for our town,” Long Hill Mayor Matthew Dorsi said. “The proceeds from the sale will eliminate our debt, freeing up over $1 million in our annual budget; and, as experts, New Jersey American Water can fix our troubled sewer system in a responsible, cost-effective manner without putting the entire financial burden on our residents. It’s a total win-win for our community.”

The deal is expected to close in the summer, following approval from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.