Trenton, NJ – Several New Jersey municipalities have issued boil water advisories to ensure the public health and safety of state residents as a result of the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd said state, county and local officials are monitoring water quality carefully. Listen to and follow public announcements that will advise residents if and when water is safe to drink or use.
Twelve municipalities/water companies have instituted boil water advisories for all or parts of their communities:
Additional information about specific boil water advisories is available at http://readynj.posterous.com/
In case of water quality issues, water companies advise customers of the situation and detail what steps they should take. Residents who are unsure of the water system’s situation in their community should check the web site of their water company or phone their offices.
“Disruptions to water supply treatment due to power outages and flooding can lead to serious health issues,” said Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd. “It’s important that our residents continue to stay informed so they can take measures to protect themselves and their families.”
Boil water orders include disruptions to water supply treatment or delivery due to power outages and flooding caused by the storm. Additionally, damage to roadways throughout may be delaying transportation of supplies that may be needed to sustain operations.
New Jersey residents who are unsure of their water supply – from either a municipal water system or personal well – should use bottled water or boil potable water before use.
If there is evidence of a water supply problem, including cloudy or turbid water, or there has been complete loss of water service or intermittent water service, it would be advisable to boil water before consumption. Cloudy or turbid water, or complete or intermittent loss of water service could mean your water supply may be compromised with disease-causing organisms.
As a precaution, users of the potentially affected water supply are advised to bring water to a rolling boil for one minute (not including the time to bring the water to a boil) before consuming or to use commercial bottled water for consumption and food preparation.
Consumption includes brushing teeth, washing fruits and vegetables and making beverages and ice. Tap water that has not been boiled may be used for showering, bathing, shaving and washing, so long as care is taken not to swallow or allow water in the eyes or nose or mouth.
Children and disabled individuals should have their bath supervised to ensure water in not ingested. Though the risk of illness is minimal, individuals who have recent surgical wounds, are immuno-suppressed, or have a chronic illness may want to consider using bottled water for cleansing until the concern of water quality has passed.
Businesses and non-residential sites should take steps such as posting notices at or disabling water fountains and ice machines during the period of concern over the water quality. If water is provided to visitors or employees, use of commercially produced bottled water for drinking and beverage preparation, such as for coffee, is appropriate. Food service and health care operations have additional requirements from their regulatory agency.
Here are some tips regarding water safety during and after and emergency
For more information on water safety visit the following sites: http://nj.gov/health/er/natural.shtml or http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/earthquakes/food.asp