Officials: Brown, Smelly Water Will Be Fixed Soon
Manasquan residents complaining of 'dirty' water for two months still not being told when to expect relief
Manasquan officials on Tuesday told a roomful of concerned and disgruntled residents that the brown, odorous water that's been coming out their taps for roughly two months would return to normal after the water chemistry leaving the plant is stabilized this week and some possibile additional hydrant flushing is carried out.
Residents brought the scope of the problem plaguing them since May 14 to the attention of Borough Council and other officials last week. The problem, officials have said, is caused by a reaction between a different additive the borough's new water treatment plant is using with iron sediment that had settled in the pipelines.
A majority of borough residents, however, are not affected by the rust-colored, metallic-smelling water that has been flowing from taps in the neighborhood of Willow Way, Spruce Street and other nearby streets.
Officials said the areas of affected water are mainly in homes on the outskirts of town where the pipelines to the water system end.
“When it comes to the system, the water is up to standards. When it gets to your household it is inconsistent,” Borough Engineer Charlie Rooney said.
Borough Administrator Joe DeIorio in an email Wednesday said officials anticipate a consistent, stable water chemistry leaving the plant by the end of the week, but additional hydrant flushing -- already conducted the last two months -- would be considered to purge the water mains, reducing the quality issues suffered by some residents.
"The exact duration needed to completely solve the problem in the distribution system was unknown and we are anxiously awaiting input from the Corrosion Expert to assist in defining our plan of action," DeIorio said Wednesday.
Water was flushed through fire hydrants last week to clear pipelines, but dirty water continued to spew out of faucets and washing machines damaging tubs, sinks, and staining clothing with rust.
Rooney insisted that the water is safe for drinking, however most residents seemed to disagree. Chemical levels had been tested in water in three homes and fire hydrants, he said.
Some residents said that discoloration was apparent exclusively in the morning while others noticed that the water quality is much poorer in the afternoon.
Homeowners suggested receiving a cost adjustment in water supply bills from the borough.
Delorio, at Tuesday's meeting, said, “At this time we have not addressed compensation efforts.”
DeIorio advised residents to keep receipts of cleaning supplies purchased and other expenses incurred as a result of the water problem.
According to Rooney the water is expected to normalize by the end of the week.
Before a reconfiguration of line feeds is enacted Wednesday, residents should allow their water to run for a few minutes before use, Rooney said.
Bottled water is also available to affected residents and can be picked up at Borough Hall.
Delorio reassured residents the problem is being handled as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“We want to keep the lines of communication open with you the best we can,” he said.