Trenton, NJ – The Department of Environmental Protection is strongly advising residents statewide to conserve water in the wake of Hurricane Sandy because widespread power outages have forced many public and private water utilities to use emergency generators to treat and pump water.
“Power companies are working hard to restore electricity to water utilities, but right now it’s impossible to say how long these facilities will have to be operated on backup generators,” Commissioner Martin said. “Everyone must pitch in immediately and take steps to reduce water consumption. Without conservation now, homes and businesses could find themselves without water in the near future if backup generation fails. We need full and immediate cooperation.”
The DEP is currently assessing the extent to which water utilities are currently using backup power, however it currently appears that most of the major water utilities in the state are currently using some degree of backup generation. The DEP is in contact with water purveyors across New Jersey.
New Jersey American Water Co., the state’s largest private water company, has issued a statement urging all of its customers statewide to conserve water indefinitely as many of the company’s facilities are operating on emergency generators.
“We are working with the power companies to have power fully restored at all of our pumping stations and water treatment plants, and ask that our customers discontinue non-essential water use until further notice,” said Stephen P. Schmitt, vice president of operations for New Jersey American Water. “Voluntary water conservation reduces the demand on the water system while it operates on backup power. We thank our customers in advance for their cooperation in conserving water while power is being restored to their homes and to our facilities.”
In the aftermath of the storm, water service for New Jersey American Water customers has not been interrupted.
The DEP advises residents to adhere to the following: