22 Shore Towns Under Water Emergency
At a press conference at Wolf Hill Recreation Area in Oceanport, Gov. Chris Christie said full water service should be restored by July 4th.
Full water service to Monmouth County residents isn't expected until July 4, with temporary service being restored in the next two days, Gov. Chris Christie said at a press conference at Wolf Hill Recreation Area in Oceanport.
Christie, on hand to discuss the broken water main that resulted in a water shortage and boil-water advisory for 22 Monmouth County towns with New Jersey American Water and county officials, asked all county residents to conserve water and warned that authorities will be on the lookout for those using water for non-essential purposes.
"This is about the lousiest time of the year this could possibly happen," Christie told the assembled crowd of reporters and county officials. "Often times these problems happen when we least want them to happen. We can get through the next two days effectively using all of the folks that we have if you help by conserving water. And so please, do not be watering your lawns, do not be watering your plants, don't be filling your pools, don't be doing that stuff for the next 48 hours at least. And for those in the 22 towns I read off, please make sure you're boiling your water."
A significant water main failure occurred at around 12:45 p.m. Friday at Swimming River Reservoir causing water outages in parts of Monmouth County and affecting the residents of several towns directly. The collapse occurred at NJAW's Swimming River Water Treatment Plant in Tinton Falls.
Residents of Middletown, Aberdeen, Highlands, Rumson, Fair Haven, Little Silver, Oceanport, Sea Bright, Tinton Falls, Holmdel, Shrewsbury, Long Branch, Eatontown, West Long Branch, Deal, Allenhurst, Loch Arbor, Neptune, Monmouth Beach, Lake Como, and Shrewsbury and Ocean Townships are under a boil-water advisory. Water should be brought to a rolling boil and left to boil for at least a minute before it is safe to consume, officials said.
All county residents have been asked to conserve water following the county's decision to declare a state of emergency.
NJAW is currently installing temporary pipes at the site of the water main break to restore partial service, though Christie said the capacity will only be about five to seven million gallons of water a day instead of the 40 million gallons of water that typically pass through the water main. Replacement pipes are on their way to New Jersey from a foundry in Alabama, Christie said, and should arrive within the next 24 hours.
When asked why NJAW went to Alabama to find its replacement pipes, Christie said the specific type of pipe needed for the repair are especially rare. Other options more local to the state don't exist.
Christie the boil-water advisory could be lifted for most residents currently affected within the next couple of days before full service is restored by Wednesday. Some towns likely won't see water restrictions lifted at all until that time because of their elevation.
Still, Christie said the county's residents can help aid the process by conserving water.
"If we can keep water consumption at normal, daily levels we'll be able to get through this crisis with very little interruption, except for the folks in the more elevated part of Monmouth County in the north eastern part," Christie said. "If we have people using water on the outside it's going to cause a real problem for us over the next 24 to 48 hours while the folks at New Jersey American Water are working to fix this problem."
Christie also joked that while many of the New Jersey'ss residents are "ready to become criminals" by shooting off fireworks in a state where they are banned, that Monmouth County residents think twice. The high heat, combined with less than adequate water availability poses a significant risk.
Christie declined to speculate on the cause of the water main break or if it was the result of damage incurred during Hurricane Irene last summer. The Board of Public Utilities will be conducting an investigation, he said.