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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Chaos reigns at the Trenton Water Works

A Trenton Water Works employee installing an illegal water connection on the 900 block of Riverside Avenue on Aug. 14 had to be stopped from performing the work by Trenton police officers after telling a city plumbing code officials to “go fuck yourself,” according to water utility employees.

The plumbing code official apparently called in to City Hall and discovered the water works employee had not secured any of the proper permits or materials for the job. That created the potential for a public safety disaster, with unlicensed and uneducated people hacking into the water utility infrastructure without knowledge of the proper way to do so, said one water employee.

More frightening is that water employees have reported that incidents such as that of Aug. 14 have become commonplace under the Palmer administration, with water employees regularly soliciting plumbing work while working on city time.

The administration has told employees that those with proper licenses and permits are free to do such work, but only when it is not on city time. Yet a lax enforcement and punishment system has resulted in unlicensed people tapping a massive public water system all the time in the state capital.

“Imagine if a PSEG employee went out after hours fixing gas lines,” said one employee.

Utility employees said that since the rise of these activities city materials and equipment have routinely gone missing from the water utility’s storage depots, yet the administration is apparently looking the other way and whistle blowers and concerned employees are bullied and attacked into submission.

All is not well at the Trenton Water Works, where the problem of unlicensed and unsupervised plumbing work raises the prospect of sinkholes, infrastructure failures, or the possibility of widespread contamination of water used by over 60,000 customers in numerous municipalities.


Old Mill Hill said...

Just another indication of the total lack of control on anything in this city.

Doug "Mr. Accountability" Palmer has totally lost his focus on doing the job he chose to run for...Mayor of the City of Trenton.

And we're all paying the price for his inattention.

G Spot said...

I understand that the plumbing official was told to "Stand Down."

This is nothing new for Trentonians as we all STand Down wind from the stench of the refuse running city hall.

Hey Mayor Palmer where are you this week? What convention, trip, vacation, photo opp, butt polishing project are you on now?

Mayor Doug Palmer of Trenton needs to go. He does not care anymore.


Anonymous said...

Any work on the water system should be done under the oversight and control of the Water Utility and in accordance with the standards established by the Water Utility and its licensed operator. The Water Utility and ultimately the City are required to have a licensed operator. That is someone who has the required State license to operate what is known as the distribution system. The distribution system is the network of pipes and related items that are mostly installed underground. The New Jersey Administrative Code stipulates that the licensed operator is responsible for and should be allowed to operate the system. However, the installation of water services and any other intrusions into the water system done without the knowledge and control of and oversight by the licensed operator violates the State Code. Water Utility sources report that this has been the City's practice for about five years now. The licensed operators have been told to keep quiet or else. The disregard of this requirement jeopardizes the public health. Again, this jeopardizes the public health. Careless or reckless disregard for established construction practices that will minimize the possibility of the introduction of dangerous contaminants to the water supply will eventually harm the public. But it has not been and apparently will not be the City's decision to obey any law or regulation that it doesn't want to. Maybe more troubling, is that the State (NJDEP) with knowledge of such practices and having jurisdiction over such practices allows this to continue.