When New Jersey tap water takes on a nasty smell or taste, it's never a good sign. It's especially bad when a city has paid for a new treatment facility to avoid such issues. In Salem, the municipal government officials have had enough of consistent nasty water problems and are now making breach of contract claims against the water treatment system's designers. It's not clear if the breach of contract claim extends to the installers of the system that's apparently causing the unpleasant water.
The problem started in 2012, when the system was first put into action. Originally, it was seen as the ideal solution to provide residents with water that did not need to come from wells. The new system promised to pull water from surfaces instead. This type of system has been used in other areas of New Jersey.
However, when the temperature began to rise in the summer of 2012, algae formed on the water. That algae has been tracked as the source of the water smell and taste concerns. Though an attempt was made to fix the issue, the lowered water quality occurred again in the heat of last summer.
Members of the city council are raising taxes in an attempt to forestall problems in 2014, and they plan to do so over the next few years. With the monies they receive, they plan to dig a well that they believe will not be prone to the formation of algae. The taxes will also go toward pursuing breach of contract claims made against the designers of the system. There is no word as to whether an official complaint has been served on behalf of the city.
Source: nj.com, "Salem City water rate to increase ahead of underground well work", Alex Young, April 23, 2014