UPDATED: Massive 36-inch main break in Kearny leaves ‘most of Jersey City’ without water


A massive 36-in main break at a construction site in Kearny has left “most of Jersey City” without water as Suez Water crews are readying to make emergency repairs.

Twitter photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Most of Jersey City is reporting water outages at this time. This is due to a State of NJ construction project where one of their crews ruptured one of our main lines (36inch). This is a main #JerseyCity line. We’re mobilizing crews to fix it. RT 7 approaching Charlotte Circle,” Mayor Steven Fulop tweeted.

Suez spokeswoman Ghilianie Soto said that construction in Kearny had caused the line, “a very large main,” to rupture.

Soto provided a full run down of the timeline of events in an email sent at 6:30 p.m., indicating that the construction accident hit the transmission line that supplies water to Hoboken in Jersey City.

Specifically, the the contractor was putting in sheet piling and pushed a piling directly into the water main, she said.

“Suez emergency crews have responded to the main break at the scene and are in the process of shutting off water to the site. This will enable water pressure to be restored through the cities of Jersey City and Hoboken.”

Soto further stated that residents of both cities have a boil water advisory in effect until further notice, noting that water does not have to be boiled for showering, washing dishes or clothes.

Additionally, SUEZ has ordered water tankers and is working with Jersey City and Hoboken OEMs for placement.

On Wednesday, New Jersey Department of Transportation spokesman Stephen Schapiro went into more detail regarding the incident.

“NJDOT’s contractor was driving piles for a new abutment for the Route 7/Wittpenn Bridge, which is under construction. Around 3 pm, a Jersey City Municipal Utility Authority (JCMUA) water main about 40 feet from the abutment ruptured,” he said in an email

“Our contractor worked with the JCMUA and Suez Water through the night to repair the water main. The repair was completed and all roads were reopened by 3 a.m. this morning.”

Photos from the scene identify the contractor as George Harms Construction Co., of Howell.

Suez has been providing updates on their website, indicating that water tankers have been stationed at Christ Hospital and near 20 Riverside Dr. South.

As of 8:45 p.m., water pressure and service are returning to part of Jersey City and Hoboken but a boil water advisory remains in place.

Furthermore, the Kearny Police Department said they are honoring a request to close Route 7 into Jersey City at the Witpenn Bridge to help isolate the site of the incident.


News correspondent Corey McDonald contributed to this report.

This story has been updated with new information.

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