The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has lifted a boil water advisory for Jersey City and Hoboken after four days since quality testing found the water to be safe for drinking.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Residents of Jersey City and Hoboken were notified on September 2, 2021 of high turbidity and low disinfection levels detected in the water distribution system that serves both communities following damage to the aqueduct caused by Tropical Storm Ida,” Suez Water wrote in a statement minutes ago.
“A boil water advisory was issued and residents were instructed to boil their tap water before using it for consumptive purposes. We are pleased to report that the repairs have been completed and subsequent water quality testing indicates that the water in Jersey City and Hoboken meets all safe drinking water standards.”
Two water quality samples had been collected and submitted to a certified laboratory, and then the NJ DEP, on Friday and then Saturday. The state agency deemed then deemed the water safe for drinking again.
Residents are also encouraged to empty and clean automatic ice makers, drain and refill hot water heaters, run water softener/cartridge filters through a regeneration cycle, and run water faucets for three to five minutes to flush the service connection and interior plumbing.
Hoboken’s official Twitter page revealed the news just minutes before Suez made the announcement, about 45 minutes after the Mile Square City said they would keep their three water stations open until 10 p.m.
“We would like to thank all Jersey City and Hoboken residents and businesses for their patience during this difficult time,” Suez President of Environmental Services Xavier Castro said in a statement.
“We understand that a boil water advisory disrupts daily routines and there are inconveniences while we make repairs and work to confirm the quality of the water.”
This morning, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla tweeted that he and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop would be “demanding answers from Suez” about the whole ordeal.
Suez again came under fire in Jersey City on Friday after they botched the delivery of bottled water and water tanks, with most arriving to wards three to four hours later than initially advertised.
Some also criticized the city since their emergency alerts system, AlertsJC, sent out text messages about an hour-and-a-half after Suez announced the boil water advisory on Thursday, stating that it would begin about an hour from then.
“If you got the text message on the left- you probably rushed to fill up your water and use it between 9:30 pm and 10:30 pm but at that point the boil advisory was already issued,” he wrote on his public Facebook page.
“This is really dangerous stuff when it comes to communication with your constituents. I really hope no one gets sick from what happened last night but City of Jersey City … can and should do better.”
Additionally, Ward E Councilman James Solomon reiterated his call to hold Suez accountable in a tweet posted minutes ago.
“As I said earlier, my commitment is a full investigation into SUEZ and all responsible parties’ preparation, response, and communication during this incident.”
On Friday, Fulop floated the possibility of the city cancelling their contract with Suez due to their regular gaffes, stating that he planned “to discuss our ongoing relationship with the city council.”
An April 1st, 2019 announcement from Suez, who first entered into a contract with the city through their predecessor in 1996, says that their water services contract was extended to 2027 via an approximately $150 million deal.
Hoboken had entertained the possibility of finding a new provider in 2017, putting several council members at odds with then-Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
Eventually, also in April 2019, Bhalla announced a new Suez deal through 2034 that pledged investing $33 million into water upgrades.