The Passaic Valley Water Commission has completed cleaning up the New Street Reservoir which was contaminated by runoff from Hurricane Ida, but boiling water notices for all of Paterson, Passaic City, parts of Clifton and Woodland Park will likely remain in effect until mid-October. , say officials.
The first phase of the cleanup, which involved pumping fresh water into Garret Mountain’s 52 million gallon reservoir, was completed last week. Now, the task is to empty each of the system’s 4,013 standpipes and 550 miles of water mains – a 24-hour operation that will take several weeks.
“We estimate that it will take another 10 to 14 days before the situation is resolved,” said Lou Amodio, the acting executive of the PVWC on Tuesday. “We know people are tired of the situation. We are tired too. But the most important thing is to ensure public health and safety. We would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding.
The PVWC says the flushing operation was successful and the water in the New Street Reservoir is clean enough to drink. But residents are advised to continue to boil water before using it, and the utility plans to continue distributing cases of bottled water until the Environmental Protection Department lift the notice.
The PVWC currently distributes approximately 4,800 cases of bottled water per day to Paterson, Passaic and Clifton. This will continue until all hydrants and main lines have been flushed out and the water has been thoroughly tested.
Residents have been advised to boil water since September 2, the day after Hurricane Ida hit and flash flooding started across the state. The storm dumped more than seven inches of rain on Paterson, which fouled the New Street reservoir with runoff from nearby Barbour Pond.
Although the PVWC posted the boil water advisory on its website hours after the storm, word was slow to spread to residents of Paterson, Passaic City, Clifton and Woodland Park. At the start of the storm, the PVWC had Twitter and Facebook pages, but not many followers, so it was left to municipal officials in member cities to spread the word.
Due to poor communications, many residents were not informed of the water emergency until a few days after the storm. Bottled water distribution also got off to a slow start, but has since been taken over by the New Jersey State Police Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Homeland Security.
PVWC spokesman Joe Getz said the cleanup had so far cost $ 1.2 million. Getz said the utility has three crews working around the clock to flush hydrants and pipes.
“They won’t stop until they’re done,” Getz said.
Bottled water distribution will continue daily in Paterson, Passaic City and Clifton.
Paterson residents can purchase cases of bottled water at Eastside Park, Eastside High School, Kennedy High School and these supermarkets: C-Town at 680 Main Street, Golden Mango, 200 Broadway, Universally at 494 Ellison Street and Super Supermarket at 30 Main.
Residents of Passaic City can get water at City Hall, the Dignity House Hut on Broadway, the Shop Rite supermarket on Paulison Avenue, the Super Fresh Market on Jefferson Street, and the Old Shop Rite on Eighth Street .
In Clifton, free cases of water are available at the skate park on Third Street, Grace Church on Hazel Street, the Clifton Senior Center on Clifton Avenue, the Shop Rite liquor store on Paulison Avenue, Super Exito on Dayton Avenue and the Super Fresh on Ackerman Avenue.