State Spotlight: Your Guide to Aquatic Summer Fun in New Jersey

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Memorial Day weekend marked the unofficial start to the summer season, and for many of us in the northeastern region of the country, this means plenty of trips to the sandy shores of New Jersey are on the horizon.

The state has a rich history of tourism connected to vacationing at New Jersey shorelines. While many tourists are expected to visit the famous beaches each summer, plenty of Garden State residents and visitors will also be looking for fun and spontaneous ways to beat the heat.

Aqua is proud to serve eleven counties in New Jersey that offer plenty water-themed activities for tourists and residents alike. Here’s a brief look at the summer fun our communities have to offer.

Beaches

What would a summer in New Jersey be without trips to the beach? Residents and friends of Aqua in Egg Harbor Township certainly know a thing or two about beaches with their own proximity to sunny shorelines and Atlantic City.

Plus, Berkeley Township residents are just a hop, skip and jump away from Seaside Heights, where the boardwalk and beaches boast festivals, sports and events all throughout the season. Both areas—among plenty of other beaches along the state’s coast—are prime destinations for summer getaways.

Waterparks

Image via Clementon Park

One alternative to a dip in the ocean is to visit a waterpark. These aquatic amusement parks can make waves for your favorite beach sports and offer exciting water-based activities for people of all ages.

Families in Clementon will celebrate 110 years of summer fun at Clementon Park & Splash World this year. Plus, our friends in Vernon Township might consider a visit to take in the views and adventure opportunities of Mountain Creek.

(Psst: To keep your family safe while swimming this summer, check out our tips on water safety.)

Local Lakes

Image via hardyston.com

Visiting nearby lakes, like those in and around Hardyston Township, is another way to join in on the aquatic fun.

If swimming isn’t your favorite, boating or fishing can be equally as refreshing alternatives. We even found members of the Laurel Springs community sharing their best catches on Laurel Lake’s Facebook page.

Other Water-based Activities

Image via Delaware River Railroad Excursions

You don’t necessarily need large bodies of water to find fun. In Phillipsburg, families can enjoy a ride on a steam engine train—steam means water—and learn more about the history of railway travel in the state.

Lebanon Township will host its third annual Sprinkler Day this August in partnership with their local fire company. It’s hard to beat a celebration of community and water!

We love to see our neighbors and communities getting ready for another memorable summer. What aquatic activities do you have planned?

 

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DIY Bath Bombs: Soak Up the Fun!

Photo by Philippa Willitts on Flickr

In recent years, bath bombs have secured their place in both the bathtubs and hearts of many. These fizzy creations bring a fresh sensation to bath water that’s exciting and relaxing for children and adults alike. With endless possibilities for shape, size and color, DIY bath bombs make for a perfect summer gift—or a perfect way to treat yourself!

Photo by Erika van Rijssen on Flickr

What you’ll need:

  • Whisk and mixing bowl
  • Round silicone molds
  • 1 cup citric acid
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or variant)
  • 8-10 drops assorted essential oils
  • Soap colorants
  • Dried flowers (optional)

Photo by rachelakelso on Flickr

What to do:

  1. Whisk dry ingredients (citric acid, baking soda, cornstarch, dried flowers) together, removing all clumps.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients (water, coconut oil, essential oils, colorants). See below for tips on which scents and colors we recommend.
  3. Gradually combine wet and dry ingredients to form a loose, sand-like texture. If your bath bombs begin fizzing early, slow down your mixing speed.
  4. Transfer mixture into silicone molds. Depending on the amount of ingredients and humidity level, your mixture can dry out quickly.
  5. Allow bath bombs to dry, then carefully remove from silicone molds and store in an airtight container.
  6. When ready for use, simply drop into prepared bath water and relax.

Tips and tricks:

It may be tempting to add extra essential oils for health benefits or a stronger scent, but beware: Some oils can pose a serious health risk in high concentrations.

Watch out for food coloring or other dyes that might stain your tub. While food coloring can be used in small doses, we recommend using soap colorants.

If your bath bombs are too runny and won’t maintain shape, you can use witch hazel to firm up your materials.

Which luxurious combination will you try? Share your results with us!

 

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Infrastructure Week Highlights the Need for Investment in Upgrading the Nation’s Water Systems

 

By Aqua Senior Vice President, Engineering and Environmental Affairs, Bill Ross

In honor of Infrastructure Week, May 15-19, 2017, Aqua is helping raise awareness about the need for substantial investment in the United States’ water infrastructure system, and sharing facts about how our company is proud to take a proactive and strategic role in the ongoing effort to replace aging infrastructure in the systems we run. 

Infrastructure Week is a national week of events, education and advocacy efforts to elevate infrastructure as a critical issue impacting all Americans.  And the network that allows us to treat and distribute water to our customers is no exception.

Drinking water in the United States is delivered via a complex, nationwide system of pipes, filtration plants and pumps. As a whole, this system is in need of significant repair. In fact, many of the pipes across the country are reaching the end of their 100-year lifespan, which creates an increased risk for contamination and leakage.

In fact, the 2017 American Society for Civil Engineers Infrastructure Report Card ranked the United States’ drinking water and wastewater infrastructure systems a “D” and “D+” respectively. The report card estimates there are 240,000 water main breaks per year that waste over two trillion gallons of treated drinking water. Additionally, it is estimated that leaky, aging pipes waste enough water to support 15 million households per day. There is no quick, cheap fix for this problem, because according to the American Water Works Association, an estimated $1 trillion is needed to maintain and expand drinking water service to meet demands over the next 25 years.

Despite the state of our nation’s water infrastructure system, drinking water quality remains the safest in the world. At Aqua, we see it as a great responsibility to replace aging infrastructure and deliver safe, reliable drinking water to our customers.

In 2017, Aqua plans to invest $450 million, with a focus on replacing 150 miles of water mains throughout our eight states. This investment will help save billions of gallons of water from leaking water mains. Over the last five years alone, Aqua invested $1.5 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure.

At Aqua, we understand the challenges facing the nation over the next few decades and we work every day to help revitalize the nation’s infrastructure. Aqua is constantly repairing and replacing old, outdated facilities, water mains, water and wastewater plants, and well stations. We intend to continue our commitment to replace aging infrastructure and our promise to deliver safe drinking water for generations to come.

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Drinking Water Week Highlights the Vital Role of Water


By Aqua President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Franklin

Every day of the year, the Aqua team works to ensure the drinking water we provide in the communities we serve is clean and safe. That responsibility is something we take extremely seriously.

Water is a precious resource that plays a critical role in sustaining life. This year, American Water Works Association’s annual Drinking Water Week serves to highlight the vital part drinking water plays in our daily lives.

According to the EPA, the United States has one of the most reliable and safest supplies of drinking water in the world. While this is something to be proud of, we must be mindful that as a nation, we are facing significant challenges to our aging water infrastructure, much of which needs to be upgraded or replaced. Cracked pipes, water main breaks and other age-related issues, including lead service lines, can impact water quality and increase the risk for contamination.  

 

Aqua actively works to replace our mains to ensure we maintain our customers’ water quality and reliable service. In fact, just last year, we replaced about 150 miles of aged water mains throughout our eight states.  

Similarly, the types of service lines on our customers’ property can impact the quality of the drinking water inside. Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures and solder, and this can cause lead exposure in a homeowner’s water supply. It is important that homeowners understand their individual situation.

We invest millions of dollars each year to improve our plants, tanks, distribution systems and other infrastructure, including removing Aqua-owned lead service lines when present, so that we can better provide quality, reliable drinking water to all of our customers.

I hope you’ll take a few moments to watch our lead education video to help you better understand this national issue, and also, to reflect on just how essential water is in your daily lives, on the occasion of Drinking Water Week, and every week.

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“Water You Drinking” for Drinking Water Week?

We have one question for you: Water you drinking?

May 7–13 is Drinking Water Week, and to celebrate, we’re serving up some refreshing and tasty ways to stay hydrated as the summer season inches closer every day.

Enjoy a tall glass of water like never before with these tasty (and healthy!) recipes for fruit-flavored treats. We're interested to hear which recipe you'd most likely try! Read through these and vote for your favorite! 

  • 16 ounces of prickly pears
  • 48 ounces of water

Juice prickly pear fruit with a juicer, or scoop the insides of the prickly pear and add to a blender or food processor and puree. Pour mixture into an ice cube tray. Once frozen, add a few cubes into a glass of water and enjoy!

  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 cups of blackberries
  • ½ cup of mint leaves

Mash blackberries into a pitcher. Rub mint leaves to release the oils and place in pitcher with the blackberries. Add water and let the ingredients infuse for at least two hours, or overnight for more flavor.

  • 1 lime
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 4 cups of water
  • Ice

Slice limes and add to a pitcher. Add mint leaves to pitcher, followed by water and ice. 

  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 mandarin oranges, sliced into wedges
  • Handful of blueberries
  • Ice

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, and refrigerate up to 24 hours for full flavor. To intensify flavor, squeeze the oranges and blueberries.

Which of these delicious, watery concoctions sounds best to you? We want to hear! Head to our Facebook and Twitter pages to select the Aqua fan-favorite water flavor. Let the voting begin!

 

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