See a corroded old fire hydrant made almost 70 years ago? Workers for SUEZ Water pulled this up in Moonachie, discarded the old lead connectors and lowered a new fire hydrant into the ground. This repair cost $5,000. But, fixing all of New Jersey’s aging water infrastructure – where water mains routinely break – carries an almost $18 billion price tag and funding sources seemed to be tapped out, political pressure, weak. That is, until Flint, Mich. But could a Flint scenario actually unfold here in New Jersey?… “I would hope we can avoid having those things come together in New Jersey, but the possibility is there,” said Rutgers University Associate Research Professor Daniel Van Abs.
“There wasn’t a lot of jobs in Newark asking for someone to survey or make maps,” Rutgers graduate Rodney Spencer said. After serving his country in the U.S. Army, Spencer couldn’t find a way to put his skills to use at home. Now he’s a graduate of Rutgers Veterans Environmental Technology Solutions program – an effort to put unemployed vets in the Newark area back to work. “It’s just nice being here, seeing the community connect with a really valuable resource – the returning veterans,” Senior Program Coordinator Jan Zientek said.