A boil water advisory is in effect for Trenton Water Works customers in Trenton, Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell and Lawrence until further notice.

UPDATE: The advisory remained in effect until at least noon on Saturday as the utility awaits test results on water samples, spokesman Michael Walker told New Jersey 101.5.

The order was issued Friday morning because "chlorination levels (a water disinfection process) are too low due to an equipment malfunction in TWW’s water-distribution system. TWW personnel are working to rectify the problem," the utility said in a statement.

Walker told New Jersey 101.5 the problem was discovered during routine testing.

“This is something that water systems that use chlorine as their process of water treatment go through. This is normal. It’s not uncommon for systems to have to issue a boil water advisory for a short length of time and we’re hoping this is a short one," Walker said.

Customers should bring tap water to a rolling boil for one minute and allow the tap water to cool before using, or use bottled water. This will kill bacteria and other organisms in the water, according to the utility.

The College of New Jersey, located in Ewing, is working to make bottled water available through their dining and residence halls, according to spokesman David Muha.

"We notified the campus community and have been posting information publicly as well as in appropriate places on campus. We are following the protocols of the Lawrence Township Health Department for food preparation in our kitchens and the distribution of food. Bottled water is being distributed in residence halls and other places throughout campus, Rider University spokesman Adam Grybowski said.

TWW advised boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking; preparing foods; mixing baby formula, food, juices or drinks, washing vegetables and fruit; cooking; making ice; brushing teeth and washing dishes until further notice.

The utility also advised the following measures:

  • Discard uncooked food, beverages, or ice cubes made with tap water during the day of the advisory.
  • Keep boiled water in the refrigerator for drinking.
  • Do not swallow water while showering or bathing.
  • Rinse hand-washed dishes with a diluted bleach solution (one tablespoon of household bleach per gallon of tap water) or clean your dishes in a dishwasher using the hot wash cycle and dry cycle.
  • Do not use home filtering devices in place of boiling or using bottled water; most home water filters will not provide adequate protection from microorganisms.
  • Use only boiled water to treat minor injuries.
  • Provide pets with drinking water that has been boiled (and cooled).

Trenton Water Works said that the This advisory will remain in effect until repairs are completed and testing shows the water quality to be safe.

TWW came under scrutiny over the last few years for a series of water problems and communication issues. At the end of 2017, the water coming out the tap in Trenton was purple because of an excess amount of potassium permangante. Prior to that, a broken filter at Trenton Water Works went undetected for months, causing contamination problems for customers in Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell and Lawrence, and officials in those towns were not notified there was a water quality issue. State legislators last year proposed a bill to create a commission to oversee TWW, though local officials have opposed that plan.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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