Thousands of New Jersey residents are facing water disruptions after the state’s efforts to stanch a massive water main break failed this weekend, officials said.
The 74-inch break was first reported Wednesday at an aqueduct in Nutley controlled by the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission. A second break has since impacted a Newark Water Supply aqueduct.
While repairs on the initial break were expected to be completed on Friday night, the water authority has yet to make significant progress, officials said, leaving at least seven municipalities across Essex, Hudson, and Passaic counties at risk of service disruptions.
On Saturday, Montclair and Glen Ridge declared water emergencies, prohibiting residents from using water for “non-essential” purposes. The township of Bloomfield, warning of an “unprecedented water emergency,” has also issued a precautionary boiled water advisory. Residents in Newark and Belleville were warned of the possibility of low pressure and discolored water.
In a video message, Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller said the town faced a serious water shortage heading into the week, as towns that are currently providing water are forced to address their own shut-offs.
If Montclair’s contingencies fail, he said, residents should prepare for “a non drinkable water declaration or just no water at all coming out of the water pipes in our homes and businesses.”
He added, "We are still just not experiencing enough water use reduction to meet our supply challenge.”
The incident comes just two months after a massive water main break in Newark compromised service for more than 100,000 people.
Inquiries to the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission were not immediately returned. An official declined to give NJ.com a new timeline for repairs.