A State Of Emergency remains in effect in Monmouth County after a wooden bridge supporting 3 water pipes over the Swimming River Reservoir in Middletown collapsed Friday afternoon which Governor Chris Christie says could take until July 4th to repair. 

Speaking at a press conference inside Wolf Hill Park in Oceanport attended by Townsquare Media reporter David Matthau,  Christie said a convoy of 10 trucks was headed to Middletown from Alabama with the special pipes required to begin replacements. They are expected to arrive in New Jersey on Sunday and it will likely take several days to complete the work.

Christie says New Jersey American is working to divert water through other pipes but on a hot day Monmouth County uses 70 million gallons of water which a makeshift distribution system cannot provide.

All county residents are directed to discontinue nonessential outdoor water use and limit indoor use and Christie says after one warning police will be issuing tickets.

The Department of Public Utilities is conducting an investigation into the cause of the collapse of the pipes.

Christie also asked residents not to shoot off fireworks as the Independence Day holiday approaches as the water needed to put off possible resulting fires would stress the system.

New Jersey American Water Company customers are still urged to follow a “boil-water advisory" but Monmouth County officials have reduced the number of towns that must boil water to just 22.

Middletown, Holmdel, Aberdeen, Highlands, Rumson, Fair Haven, Little Silver, Oceanport, Sea Bright, Tinton Falls, Shrewsbury, Long Branch, Eatontown, West Long Branch, Deal, Allenhurst, Loch Arbor and Neptune. Monmouth Beach, Lake Como and Shrewsbury and Ocean townships  are also still under  a boil water advisory.

In these communities the boil-water advisory pertains to residents, businesses and health care facilities. Affected businesses include hotels, restaurants and bars. The advisory means water should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute and then cooled prior to use.

“While things are looking a little better for many county residents today, a state of emergency remains in effect until further notice,” Freeholder Director John P. Curley said. “We are all in this together and it is critically important that each of us does our part to conserve water.”

Mandatory restrictions remain in effect  for all Monmouth County residents including  no watering of existing lawns, trees, shrubs and gardens, no use of water for nonessential reasons, and washing cars is prohibited except at commercial car washes that recycle water.

The 3 pipes led to a water treatment facility in Middletown. New Jersey American Water  says they are working on temporary measures to restore normal operations at its Swimming River Water Treatment Plant. The plant delivers 36 million gallons of water each day to 55,000 customer accounts.


Bottled water stations will be set up  from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday at the following locations:

  • Middletown High School North, 63 Tindall Road, Middletown Township
  • Middletown High School South, 900 Nut Swamp Road Middletown (also bring your own water jug to be filled at this location)
  • Wolf Hill Park, 3 Crescent Place, Oceanport


New Jersey American Water also recommends the following steps:

• Throw away uncooked food or beverages or ice cubes if made with tap water during the day of the advisory;

• Keep boiled water in the refrigerator for drinking;

• Rinse hand-washed dishes for a minute in diluted bleach (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 swallow water while you are showering or bathing;

• Provide pets with boiled water after cooling;

• 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.