At this time of year when the temperature rises and water becomes both more in demand and more scarce, it can be easy to forget where many people get their water from.
On Monday, members of the township's environmental commission got the chance to tour the New Jersey Water Supply Authority facility on Hospital Road in Wall. The group was guided by Ronald Famularo, the manager of the facility who showed how his team manages the water that comes from the Manasquan Reservoir and is then distributed to different parts of Monmouth and Ocean County.
With the reservoir holding an almost unfathomable 4.7 billion gallons of water, Famularo said when he gives tours like the one on Monday there are two main points he tries to get across. "You have to really realize how important the natural resource of water is," he said. "Secondly, conserve it because you have to realize how precious it is overall."
From the main facility that includes a water treatment plant, a reservoir pump station and an intake pump station, to the reservoir there is more than 20 miles of land used to make the water useable for the rest of the area. From the rural road the facility does not look to be too extensive, but one look inside the buildings with the massive modern machines shows how it is able to handle such an important resource for so many local towns.
The water authority has been in existence for 30 years and the members include the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection as well as six people appointed by the governor. According to its website the water treatment plant at the facility provides 60 percent of the water for other towns including Brielle, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Spring Lake heights and Wall Township. It can make four million gallons of useable water a day.
Don Smith, one of the members on the tour said he had been to the location before and said it gives people the chance to learn more about the condition of the reservoir and its tributaries. They also get to see the process the water goes through in general. Previously, when the Manasquan Watershed Association was still in existence, they would get similar information, but that is now being given to this group.
Smith said the conservation of water is important whether you get it from a well or from a utility company. "They (Residents) should conserve water when they're asked to and right now New Jersey American Water is asking people to voluntarily conserve," he said. "People complain about the high water bills but it takes money to run all of this."
Evelyn O'Donnell said she was impressed by the facility and all that goes into it to make the water available and agreed that conservation is very important. "Everybody has to do that," he said. "I think water conservation is just an intelligent thought process worldwide. I think we forget how important water is."