Update: Water Warning Lifted in Old Bridge, Remains in Effect in Aberdeen
The boil water advisory was lifted in Old Bridge after test results indicated the water was no longer positive for bacteria. Aberdeen is awaiting the results of its own test.
Editor's Note: As of Thursday morning, the advisory is lifted in Aberdeen. For more information, please click here.
Editor's Note: This article was updated at 10:30 p.m. on June 20 to indicate the ban was lifted in Old Bridge, but is still in effect in Aberdeen.
A boil water advisory that was implemented in Old Bridge and certain sections of Aberdeen on Monday night was lifted in Old Bridge Wednesday night after test results indicated there was no longer fecal coliform bacteria in the water supply.
The advisory remains in effect for the Cliffwood and Cliffwood Beach areas of Aberdeen, pending Aberdeen's test results, Director of Public Works Robert Brady said Wednesday night.
Brady said he anticipates the ban to be lifted within 24 hours. It cannot be lifted until Aberdeen receives the results of their test and the Department of Environmental Protection approves of it, he explained.
Fecal coliform bacteria were found in the Old Bridge water supply in a sample collected on June 15, 2012, according to a public advisory issued by Old Bridge. The contamination may have been the result of a construction related event near Bordentown and Ernston Road, according to the advisory.
The advisory is limited to the North and Eastern section of the Township that includes the Madison Park and Central Park areas, Ellen Heath, Oxford Estates, Cheesequake Village, and the Laurence Harbor and Cliffwood Beach areas. According to Public Works Director Robert Brady, Aberdeen purchases water from Old Bridge for the Cliffwood and Cliffwood Beach sections of the township.
These bacteria can cause illness and can cause particular concern for people with weakened immune systems. Bacterial contamination can occure when increased run-off enteres the drinking water source, due to a break in the distribution system, or a failure in the water treatment process, according to the public notice.
What should I do? What does this mean?
DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
Fecal coliforms and E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, and people with severely compromised immune systems.
The symptoms above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice. People at increased risk should seek advice from their health care providers about drinking this water.
What is being done?
Old Bridge Township is chlorinating and flushing the water system, according to the public notice. They are increasing sampling for coliform bacteria to determine the source of the contamination.
Residents will be informed when tests show no bacteria and it is no longer necessary to boil water. The problem is expected to be resolved within 48 hours, according to the the public notice.
For more information, please refer to the Old Bridge MUA web site at www.obmua.com or call 732-679-4187 to leave a message with our voice mail.
General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
Editor's note: Old Bridge and Aberdeen townships are asking that everyone share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by sharing on Facebook, Twitter and via email.