CLIFTON — Seven weeks after Ida drenched New Jersey with nearly 10 inches of rain, a boil water order was lifted for Passaic Valley Water Commission customers.

Paterson, Passaic, Woodland Park and parts of Clifton served by the New Street Reservoir no longer need to boil the tap water before drinking it or using it for cooking. The water utility replaced 52 million gallons of contaminated water and flushed out 550 miles of pipes in order to bring the water back to appropriate standards.

Residents are advised to take several steps before resuming water use including:

  • Run your water faucets for 3 to 5 minutes to flush your service line and interior plumbing.
  • Empty and clean your automatic ice makers and water chillers.
  • Drain and refill your hot water heater if the temperature is set below 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If your property has a water softener/cartridge filters, it should be run through a regeneration cycle or other procedures recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Water reservoirs in tall buildings should be drained and refilled (as applicable).

"PVWC appreciates your patience as we worked through this situation. To keep this from happening again we need to replace the open reservoirs w/ enclosed water storage tanks Please support those efforts so we can provide you w/ clean quality drinking water," the utility said in a tweet.

Interim business administrator Louis Amodio told New Jersey 101.5 earlier, the reservoir was so badly affected by the rain because it is one of six remaining open-air reservoirs in the United States, down from 700 in 2009. Five are in New Jersey and three belong to the PWC. The utility has unsuccessfully been trying to encapsulate them for 12 years.

Drinking water from the New Street Reservoir is first processed at a water treatment plant and then released to a body of water open to the elements, Amodio said.

"There are geese and duck and deer and water run off and anything else that you can imagine in the air that goes into that reservoir. When people open their tap in their homes, that's the water that they get," Amodio said.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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