MIDDLETOWN, NJ - New Jersey American Water Co. and county emergency management officials reduced the boil-water advisory this morning to just 20 towns directly affected by the collapse of three large water pipes Friday at the company’s water treatment plant at Swimming River Reservoir.
An outdoor water ban remains in place throughout the county today, and all county residents are urged to conserve water until further notice. The outdoor ban means no watering lawns, shrubs or gardens, no filling swimming pools or washing cars. Indoor conservation measures should include refraining from using washing machines and dishwashers, limiting showering times and flushing toilets less frequently.
This morning, water distribution sites have opened at Middletown High School North, 63 Tindall Rd., Middletown; Middletown High School South, 900 Nut Swamp Rd., Middletown, and Wolf Hill Park, 3 Crescent Place, Oceanport. Hours at all sites are from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“While things are looking a little better for many county residents today, a state of emergency remains in effect until further notice,” Freeholder Director John P. Curley said. “We are all in this together and it is critically important that each of us does our part to conserve water.”
Towns directly affected by this crisis that are still under the boil-water advisory are all of Middletown, Holmdel, Aberdeen, Highlands, Rumson, Fair Haven, Little Silver, Oceanport, Sea Bright, Tinton Falls, Shrewsbury, Long Branch, Eatontown, West Long Branch, Deal, Allenhurst, Loch Arbor and Neptune. Monmouth Beach, Lake Como and Shrewsbury and Ocean townships were added this morning.
In these towns, the boil-water advisory pertains to residents, businesses and health care facilities. Affected businesses include hotels, restaurants and bars. The advisory means water should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute and then cooled prior to use.
The Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management, in consultation with the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, declared a countywide state of emergency Friday afternoon.
“The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office is working with local law enforcement agencies to ensure that the outdoor water ban is strictly enforced,” Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden said. “These restrictions are not just for New Jersey American Water customers, but for everyone in Monmouth County. Cooperation is necessary to ensure public safety.”
Three large water pipes at New Jersey American Water Co. broke around noon Friday, causing a reduction or total loss of water pressure or supply. Other water companies will be rerouting water to New Jersey American Water Co. customers, but not enough to meet normal demand.
“That’s why it is so important to conserve water regardless of what utility you receive your water from,” Monmouth County Emergency Management Coordinator Michael Oppegaard said.
Additionally, New Jersey American Water Co. recommends their customers take the following steps
- Throw away uncooked food or beverages or ice cubes if made with tap water during the day of the advisory;
- Water should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute then cooled prior to using;
- Keep water that has been boiled in the refrigerator for drinking;
- Rinse hand-washed dishes for a minute in diluted bleach (one tablespoon of household bleach per gallon of tap water) or clean your dishes in a dishwasher using the hot wash cycle and dry cycle.
- Do not swallow water while you are showering or bathing;
- Provide pets with boiled water after cooling;
- Do not use home filtering devices in place of boiling or using bottled water; most home water filters will not provide adequate protection from microorganisms, and
Use only boiled water to treat minor injuries