A water main break in Nutley on October 5th has created what’s being called an ‘unprecedented water emergency,’ and it’s estimated to have impacted over 300,000 residents across towns in Essex, Passaic, and even parts of Hudson County. Though the break was in Nutley, the water system in this town has not been affected; rather, the towns experiencing the worst of it seems to be Bloomfield, Montclair, and Glen Ridge, with Belleville, Newark, and more also experiencing a host of issues. A local water emergency was declared in Montclair + Glen Ridge on Saturday, October 8th, with residents being asked to moderate water consumption. The repairs have been completed and the boil water advisory has been lifted in Bloomfield, but towns are still doing water testing and sampling to make sure the water is safe. This news comes after a major water main break in Belleville wreaked havoc on Newark and other surrounding areas back in August. Read on to see what we know about this water main break.
^ A car falling into a sinkhole after the last water main break in the Belleville/Newark area
Updates as of Friday, October 14th
Over a week after the water main break in Nutley, the towns of Montclair and Glen Ridge still remain in a local state of emergency. Residents are still being asked to conserve water as much as possible and use it only for essential purposes. Per Baristanet, Montclair Mayor Sean Spillar said the township was expecting the latest test results from the North Jersey Water Commission’s testing of their water supply main. Those test results will determine if the water systems in each town can be repressurized — which can happen, at the earliest, by Saturday, October 15th.
Updates as of Tuesday, October 11th
The boil water advisory has been lifted in Bloomfield — but the town is still urging residents to conserve water. The township has confirmed that the water is safe to drink after water sampling and testing was done, and is working on a fix for the current water pressure concern, per Baristanet.
While the local state of emergency in Montclair and Glen Ridge continues after the main break, the town of Montclair is still working on confirming if the water is safe — saying the earliest return to normalcy would be Tuesday, October 11th, per Montclair Local News. As of Monday, October 10th, the town was still working on water testing and sampling to check for E. coli and other bacteria, as well as checking for any other leaks.
On the morning of October 5th, the township of Nutley released a statement on Facebook to let the community know there had been a water main break, they were aware of the issue, and that they were working to fix it. The initial main break occurred in a 72-inch aqueduct controlled by the New Jersey District Water Commission — though later statements have included additional aqueducts that were impacted.
“The Township of Nutley is aware of a water line break in one of the main transmission supply lines in the area of Bloomfield Avenue and Church Street,” the post reads. “These lines transverse Nutley from Bloomfield into Belleville. At this time, the water transmission line break does not appear to be that which supplies Nutley and there are no water issues with the Nutley water system.”
Read More: The Montclair Girl News
The post went on to say that there will be road closures and detours around the area of Bloomfield Avenue from Centre Street to Church Street.
As of October 7th, it was clear that the issue was larger than first anticipated. Hundreds of thousands of residents had low water pressure across Essex, Passaic, and Hudson Counties — plus, Bloomfield was under a boil water advisory.
The Impact in Montclair + Glen Ridge
A local state of emergency was declared in Montclair and Glen Ridge on Saturday, October 8th due to ongoing issues caused by the water main break. An order went into effect at 3PM that day, telling residents to avoid any “non-essential use of water” and to “use water only when absolutely necessary”. The state of emergency is still in effect as of Monday, October 10th.
The Impact in Bloomfield
Bloomfield released an emergency statement, as Bloomfield residents have been especially impacted by this main break. The statement says that the town of Bloomfield has been in contact with the NJDEP along with seven municipalities and three water utilities. It called the situation an ‘unprecedented water emergency’ and says the main issue involves the aforementioned 72-inch aqueduct controlled by the North Jersey District Water Commission — but also involves a 48-inch and 42-inch aqueduct controlled by Newark Water Supply. An estimated 300,000 residents have been affected, according to the statement.
As a temporary solution, Bloomfield will be tapping into other water supplies.
“Initially, this was supposed to be a six-hour repair in which the township tapped into our backup lines with Passaic Valley Water Commission and North Jersey Water Supply,” the statement reads. “We will be tapping into the North Jersey Water supply and Passaic Valley water Commission today to be able to increase water pressure to certain parts of the township.”
Anyone in Bloomfield who is experiencing low water pressure should call the Engineering Department at 973-680-4009. If lines are busy, residents are encouraged to leave a message with your phone number and location. You can also send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
See More: Hoboken Girl News
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The Impact in Newark
Newark released a statement on October 6th warning residents that they would likely be affected be this as well. “A 74-inch water main break that occurred in Nutley may affect the East Ward and lower South Ward of Newark,” the city wrote in a statement. “The water main, operated by the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission, may also affect municipalities in Essex, Hudson, and Passaic counties. Residents in the affected areas may experience low water pressure or no water as a result of this incident. However, updates regarding repairs will be announced.”
The Impact in Belleville
Due to a water break in Nutley, some areas in Belleville are experiencing low water pressure. This break may cause water discoloration.
At this time a “Boil Water” advisory is NOT in effect. pic.twitter.com/2usu8WDuEh
— Belleville NJ (@Belleville07109) October 5, 2022
While some Belleville residents currently have low water pressure and/or water discoloration, the latest statement from Belleville is that there isn’t a boil water advisory in effect for the town at this time.