SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Middlesex Water Company Loses Power at Intake Station; Urges Customers to Store Water Immediately and Issues Boil Water Advisory

ISELIN, NJ -- (Marketwire) -- 11/05/12 -- Due to a power failure at its intake station in New Brunswick, NJ and failure of back-up generation at that location, Middlesex Water Company is advising its customers in Carteret, Edison, Highland Park, Metuchen, South Amboy, South Plainfield, and all sections of Woodbridge to immediately store an ample supply of water for drinking and sanitation purposes until further notice.

The company's treatment plant and intake station had been on emergency generation since Monday, October 29 and both facilities were restored to normal electric power over the weekend. However, late this afternoon, the intake station, which draws in the water supply, lost power again. In addition, the emergency standby generator at the intake also malfunctioned rendering it inoperable. Over the next few hours, customers can expect to see significant drops in water pressure and loss of water service. Customers should store a minimum of 3 gallons of tap water for each person, each day in addition to supplies of bottled water they may have secured as part of their storm preparations.

The power company is working to restore power as quickly as possible, potentially by early morning Tuesday.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection requires the following language to be included in any boil water advisory:

The Department of Environmental Protection has determined that a potential or actual threat to the quality of water being provided to you currently exists. Therefore until further notice, bring tap water to a rolling boil for one minute and allow to cool before using for consumption; drinking, ice cubes, washing vegetables and fruit, and for brushing teeth. Please continue to boil your water until you are notified that the water quality is acceptable.

We also recommend the following steps as of the time of this advisory:

  • Throw away uncooked food or beverages or ice cubes if made with tap water made after the time of the issuance of this advisory;
  • Keep boiled water in the refrigerator for drinking;
  • Rinse hand-washed dishes for a minute in diluted bleach (one tablespoon of household bleach per gallon of tap water) or clean your dishes in a dishwasher using the hot wash cycle and dry cycle.
  • Do not swallow water while you are showering or bathing;
  • Provide pets with boiled water after cooling;
  • Do not use home filtering devices in place of boiling or using bottled water; most home water filters will not provide adequate protection from microorganisms;
  • Use only boiled water to treat minor injuries.

Individuals with severely compromised immune systems, infants, or the elderly may be at increased risk and should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly, for example people in apartments, nursing homes, schools and businesses. You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

Please note a boil water advisory is a standard procedure whenever a treatment failure occurs which may compromise the quality of your drinking water. Middlesex Water will provide information as to when the advisory is lifted.

Middlesex Water will be issuing updates, through media sources, municipal and health departments, the home page of its website at www.middlesexwater.com and through its Facebook and Twitter site. Customers seeking more information may call the company at 732-634-1500.

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