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

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

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

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!

 

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!

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)

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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“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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5 Timely Tips to Celebrate Water Safety Month

Did you know May is recognized as National Water Safety Month? With summer right around the corner, we want to highlight a few of the most valuable tips for keeping yourself and loved ones safe by the pool, lake or ocean this swim season.

Here’s how to stay safe around the water—and what to do in case of an emergency.

Safety First and Foremost

Before venturing into any body of water, ensure that you are well prepared with the proper swimming safety gear—especially if you’re with someone with little to no trained swimming skills. Goggles, water wings, inflatable rafts and body boards can all be utilized for safety and a more relaxing experience in the water. Keep some or all of these tools readily available, and remember to never leave an inexperienced swimmer in the water without attentive supervision.

Follow Signs, Guidelines and Rules

 

Image via Wikimedia

Once you’ve got your safety gear covered, it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs surrounding the swimming area. If you’re at a pool, signage indicating water depth, diving policies and lifeguard duties are common. Larger bodies of water such as oceans and lakes tend to have signs indicating whether a lifeguard is on duty, how tall waves may be and daily water temperatures. Always remember to take note of these factors before entering the water!

Get the Low-Down on Swimming

 

This one seems obvious, but the very best way to ensure water safety is to learn how to swim! Invest in a few swimming lessons to build a level of skill and comfort in pools and any larger bodies of water. Regardless of age, safety and basic swim skills are essential for a positive experience in or near the water.

What to Do in a Water Emergency

 

In the instance of an emergency, acting fast is absolutely crucial. Is there a lifeguard on duty? Call for help immediately, whether from an on-duty guard, a bystander or 911. If CPR is required, ask if anyone nearby is certified and able to provide help. CPR certification is simple to acquire via local courses and is highly recommended as a general life skill in case of any emergency. Most importantly, get any individual in need out of the water as quickly as possible and ask questions to determine their level of consciousness while you call for help.

Better Protected with Buddies

 

Buddy up! Venturing into the water on your own puts you at higher risk of falling victim to a dangerous situation. Even the most highly skilled swimmers can encounter an unsafe situation in the water, so having people nearby is always a major safety net. Plus, swimming is much more fun with friends.

Memorial Day is only a few weeks away, which means pools are opening and people are growing eager to hit the beach. Keep the above safety tips in mind this summer for a stress-free, safety-first swim season.

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A Message of Thanks to Aqua Volunteers


Caption: Kim Joyce volunteering in Panama via a partnership between Aqua America and Villanova University.

By Aqua Vice President of Regulatory, Government and External Affairs, Kim Joyce

April is National Volunteer Month. In recognition of this month, organizations, companies and individuals in cities all over the nation make an extra effort to thank volunteers, sign up new ones and contribute to causes that matter.

As someone serving on the committee to help roll out and oversee our Community Volunteerism Program, I’m proud to acknowledge our employees’ commitment to volunteerism. This dedication is what inspired us to launch the program last year.

Aqua’s volunteerism program organizes community outreach events that allow our employees to connect with one another. Plenty of Aqua employees and their families can be found serving communities across the eight states we serve.

Some examples that highlight the wide array of volunteer activities in which Aqua employees have participated and continue to participate include:

In line with our mission to supply communities with clean water, Aqua Illinois has participated in the state’s Adopt-a-River program for 15 years. As part of the program, volunteers have worked to clean up the Kankakee River, which sources one of our water treatment plants.

In North Carolina, our crews responded quickly when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked Aqua to supply clean drinking water to more than two dozen homes with contaminated wells. We were proud to expedite this process in order to minimize the negative impact on the Wake Forest community.

By planting more than 620 new trees in one day, volunteers from Aqua Pennsylvania connected with local conservationists and residents to bring plenty of fresh air to the Perkiomen Creek Watershed.

To help promote fire safety, something we care about deeply at Aqua, our Ohio employees help to install fire alarms and teams across our states have focused on fundraising for various local fire department. It makes us proud to support brave men and women who often volunteer to risk their lives protecting our communities.

In New Jersey, our team biked from “City to Shore” for several years to raise awareness and funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Our employees in Virginia took their love of water to a bass fishing tournament to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

Hats off to Aqua Indiana employees who participated in South Haven’s Team Up to Clean Up event on Earth Day. Several Aqua employees volunteered to ready the community parks for the new season. They helped install bike racks, benches and grills at the parks, and re-installed fencing and a gate.

Finally, Aqua Texas sponsored and took part in the Wimberley Village Library summer reading program, which provides families an opportunity to discover and develop the joy of reading.

Whether as part of a company event or due to a personal dedication to a cause, every volunteer effort made by our Aqua employees is an effort that matters.

Why We Volunteer

Providing exceptional water service to our customers includes all aspects of making their communities better places to live. At Aqua, we strongly believe that volunteerism is a vital part of that commitment to each and every community.

As National Volunteer Month comes to a close, please join me in thanking our employees—and all the other volunteers in your lives—for their service both in and outside the office. Together, they create a positive impact that not only benefits our communities, but also inspires us all to continue giving back to the people we serve.

 

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