State of emergency declared
Strict water conservation measures put in place
All outdoor use banned; boil water advisory expands to entire county
FREEHOLD, NJ – All outdoor watering has been banned and residents are urged to severely curtail their indoor water use following the collapse of three large pipes at the Swimming River Reservoir in Tinton Falls on Friday. A state of emergency has been declared for all of Monmouth County.
Additionally, a “boil-water advisory” has been expanded to include residents, businesses and health care facilities who obtain their water through utility companies. Water should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute and then cooled prior to use. Affected businesses include hotels, restaurants and bars. The boil water advisory was expanded because water companies in the county have shared agreements and many of their distribution systems are interconnected.
The outdoor watering ban includes the watering of lawns, shrubs and gardens, washing cars and filling swimming pools. Residents are also being reminded to turn their sprinkler systems off. Indoor use is restricted and residents should avoid running washing machines or dishwashers, limit their showering time and flush their toilets less frequently.
These water restrictions will remain in place until further notice.
Water distribution sites have been established at Middletown High School North, 63 Tindall Rd., Middletown; Middletown High School South, 900 Nut Swamp Rd., Middletown. A third site will open Saturday at Wolf Hill Park, 3 Crescent Place, Oceanport. Hours at all sites are from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“All of Monmouth County is in a state of emergency because New Jersey American Water Co. will have to feed off other utilities throughout the weekend,” Freeholder Director John P. Curley said. “We need to pull together during this critical time and help one another by conserving water.”
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 closely with local law enforcement agencies to ensure that an outdoor water ban will be 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 and it will be enforced.”
Eighteen towns serviced by New Jersey American Water Co. have been directly affected. Three large water pipes broke around noon Friday, causing a reduction or total loss of water pressure or supply.
Towns directly affected by this crisis include 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.
Additionally, New Jersey American Water Co. recommends taking 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.