In the aftermath of Trenton Water Works’ boil-water advisory, there were a lot of questions across the region. Is the water safe? Does this affect me? And, most surprisingly, do I have Trenton Water?
The latter seemed a simple enough question to answer—if you get a bill from the City of Trenton twice a year for water service, then you receive your water from Trenton Water Works. But to better display the TWW service area, we set out to find a map to use with our story.
Turns out that was easier said than done. We have no map and a lot more questions.
First, we asked Trenton spokeman Michael Walker, who pointed us to the city website. The only map there was of the area affected by the boil-water advisory. We followed up to ask for a map of the full service area, but Walker—who seemed perturbed by the whole exchange—never replied to our request.
Then, we called Trenton Water Works directly. We were transferred three times—two people didn’t know and the last line rang without end.
We emailed the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, whose staff has been a tremendous source of detailed information regarding TWW and water treatment. They only had one map: a years-old thumbnail in the corner of a memo. The map had been photocopied so many times that DEP staffers couldn’t read it.
We also had asked Hamilton Township, whose administration has been quick to release information on TWW. Staff there looked for hours with no luck, and suggested a last-ditch attempt with the state Board of Public Utilities.
The BPU didn’t have anything either, saying TWW “isn’t under our jurisdiction” and recommended asking DEP. We had come full circle.
We share this story as another example of what it is like to communicate with and try to get information about Trenton Water Works for even simple questions, like “Where do you serve?” The map is lost in the maze, but it exists somewhere. If you happen to have one, send us a note.