Fluoride Action Network

Perth Amboy’s water supply measures up

Source: MyCentralJersey.com | President and CEO, Middlesex Water Company
Posted on January 10th, 2010

I am writing to correct some factual inaccuracies about the city of Perth Amboy water supply presented in an op-ed piece entitled “Fluoridation Would Help Water Quality” published Dec. 19. The article stated, “elected politicians sold off the Perth Amboy municipal water company and then stopped fluoridating the water and other actions that led to lower quality.”

To clarify, the water system of the city of Perth Amboy was never sold. The city did however, enter into a public/private partnership agreement with Middlesex Water Company in 1998 for the operation and maintenance of the city 1/8s water system. The city continues to retain ownership of all the water utility treatment and distribution infrastructure. Middlesex Water Company is simply a contract operator of the system.

The writer also claimed the city of Perth Amboy stopped fluoridating its water once this partnership took effect. This statement also is incorrect. The city of Perth Amboy has added fluoride to its drinking water supplies since the 1950s and continues to do so today. This practice has never stopped and in fact, numerous improvements have been made to modernize the fluoridation process throughout the term of the public/private partnership.

Since the inception of the public/private partnership, numerous upgrades have been made to the city’s aging utility infrastructure and the water quality problems the city had been experiencing in 1998 had all been remediated soon after Middlesex began operating the system.

The city of Perth Amboy provides its residents with an annual report on water quality. This report describes the rigorous testing, monitoring and sampling conducted to ensure delivery of water that meets the highest standards. The latest report shows the city was in full compliance with the national Safe Drinking Water Act and that Perth Amboy’s drinking water meets or is better than state and federal primary standards for drinking water quality, as dictated by the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.