The State of Water Safety in New Jersey

Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with the CEO of SUEZ North America, Eric Gernath, who discusses water safety in New Jersey and what is being done to keep our water clean and our families safe.

7/25/2017 #2064






"We are pleased to welcome Eric Gernath, who is the Chief Executive Officer, SUEZ, North America. Good to see you Eric. Good to see you. Good to be here. Explain what SUEZ is. SUEZ is the largest company in the world. SUEZ does business across the world. One third in Europe, one third in the Asia Pacific region, and one third in North and South America. And here in North America we do business all across the country and in New Jersey. We serve about 1.6 million people with our services everyday. It's interesting. Some of the larger communities we're talking about... Bayonne, Hoboken, Jersey City are just some of the communities SUEZ serves. Water... most of us... Do we not think about it until there's a problem? You're absolutely right, and the reason is we use water everyday. We take it for granted but water, having good water, having good quality water, having good infrastructure is actually a daily struggle. Struggle? A daily struggle. Why? Because you need a lot of expertise, a lot of resources to make sure everyday the water that you drink is of an adequate quality. The water that you treat, waste water, is actually suitable for discharge that you're not polluting the environment. It's a daily struggle but what we pride ourselves about is that you don't think about it. Because you guys are thinking about it all the time, right? We try. How expensive though? The other part, we've talked about Newark water problems with the kids with the drinking water and people go, "oh, let's get bottled water" as if that's a solution. This is big infrastructure money, right? Yes and water is here for the long term so of course you're going to use water everyday. Whenever you build infrastructure, you want those infrastructures to last for a long long time and in our country, we're fortunate enough that our fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers have been working on building infrastructures. You know what happened? Those infrastructures are aging and we've not been as collectively as diligent as we need to be to upgrade, modernize those infrastructures. And is SUEZ helping to play catch up there? Yes. In a nutshell, yes. We go to communities. We engage stakeholders, elected officials, end users in dialogs. And we try to understand first their issue. In our business, there is not a one size fits all solution. It has to be tailored to the local challenges that a city is facing and we try to help, but we try to help for the long term and we try to make sure that we're not bringing expensive technologies, useless technologies, for the people. We try to bring solutions that..."