Boil water orders lifted. Main break blamed for fish kill in Middlesex, NJ
The all clear has been sounded to drink the water coming out of your tap in Central New Jersey.
Nine towns in Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties had been under a boil water advisory for days after two water mains broke in Piscataway. Testing has shown acceptable levels of bacteria in the water, according to New Jersey American Water.
While the water has been deemed safe to drink, the company is advising customers take the following steps before doing so:
- Run all cold-water faucets in your home for 3-5 minutes at one time at the highest flow rate that you can without causing splashing or flooding of drains to flush your service connection and interior plumbing with water from the water service main.
- To flush automatic ice makers, make three batches of ice and discard.
- Run water softeners/cartridge filters through a regeneration cycle. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines specified in the owner's manual.
- Run drinking water fountains for one minute at the highest flow rate possible.
- Drain and refill your hot water heater if the temperature is set below 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Water reservoirs in tall buildings should be drained and refilled (as applicable).
Watermain break blamed for fish kill
Meanwhile, the water main break is being blamed, in part, for the killing of all marine life in a Middlesex Borough lake.
Hundreds of fish began floating to the top of the water at Lake Creighton in Victor Crowell Park this week. Mayor John Madden blames both the watermain break and the legal discharge of chemicals into the local sewer system.
While the mayor says a company had permission to do a "legal dump" of an emulsifying chemical into the sewer so it could be cleaned by the Middlesex County Utilities Authority, the water main break caused those chemicals to divert to the lake.
Madden told NJ.com it was an "ecological disaster." "Every type of aquatic life died," Madden said, "thousands and thousands of fish." He then accused New Jersey American Water of being unresponsive and not returning his calls.
The State Department of Environmental Protection is now monitoring the situation, and working on clean-up. The mayor believes the lake will need to be dredged to clean up all the dead fish.