A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cliffwood/Cliffwood Beach: Boil Your Water - 18 June 2012

Aberdeen Township is warning its northern and eastern residents to boil their water.

Fecal coliform bacteria were found in the water supply in a sample collected on June 15, 2012 that may have been due to a construction related event from work on Bordentown and Ernston Road.  This Advisory is limited to the North and Eastern Section of the Township that includes the Madison Park and Central Park areas, Ellen Heath, Oxford Estates, Cheesequake Village, and the Laurence Harbor and Cliffwood Beach areas.

These bacteria can make you sick, and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems. Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source (for example, following heavy rains). It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system (pipes) or a failure in the water treatment process.

Cliffwood and Cliffwood Beach in particular receive some of their water from Old Bridge, which tainted its supply as a result of road construction damage to the pipeline. (ABERDEEN NOTICE)  Old Bridge has posted a similar notice.

Aberdeen Township has three distinct water systems, according to NJ Drinking Water Watch and Aberdeen Township Water Department:
  1. Aberdeen - Cliffwood/Cliffwood Beach (NJ1330002)
  2. Aberdeen - High School/Oak Shades Area (NJ1330003)
  3. Aberdeen -  Aberdeen - Freneau (NJ1330004)
Neither source defines water service with any more detail than this. Perhaps the Aberdeen Water Department could offer a bit more detail regarding which neighborhoods are included in each system?

Since 1988, Old Bridge Municipal Utility Authority has been selling a minimum of 800,000 gallons of finished water per day and up to 3 million gallons of water per day to Aberdeen Township through an emergency interconnection. OBMUA also has such interconnections with Perth Amboy, Sayreville, and Marlboro. (Source: OBMUA)

On a related preparedness note, Cliffwood Beach residents were left to scramble when flood evacuations were issued last summer. Instead of evacuating the entire shore, Aberdeen authorities could have provided more detailed information so many residents would not have felt compelled to leave their homes. An online flood zone map would have aided residents in both weighing the danger and determining their need to evacuate. Blanket evacuation of Cliffwood Beach is uncalled for in most situations as numerous homes are above the flood zone.


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