From the desk of Thomas S. Russo, Jr.

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Jun 06

Newton Watermain Break

Posted on June 6, 2011 at 5:50 PM by Thomas Russo, Jr.

At approximately 8:10am this morning Newton was notified of a possible watermain break on the 10” transmission main coming into Newton through Andover Township.  At 9:00am Newton’s Water/Sewer Supervisor, Paul Baldwin, determined that the impacted watermain was actually located through Drake Manor and that it was not the 10” line but the 16” watermain which was inadvertently hit during Andover Township’s storm drain repair work.  Newton contacted its Water/Sewer Engineer and OEM staff to come onsite at that time.

It took 2 ½ hours for Andover and Newton staff to get to the pipe by dewatering the hole.  Newton contacted William Wilson Contracting who is its emergency contractor when incidents such as these occur.  At 1:00pm Newton decided to shut down the 2 million gallon water tank on the low pressure side of Town to preserve water for Newton Medical Center.  It was at this time that Newton staff decided to turn off all water coming into the Town from the PR chamber on Limecrest Road in Andover, NJ.  The Town’s OEM Coordinator, Kenneth Teets, notified the Newton School District while the Town began the process of obtaining water buffalos (portable emergency water tanks) for water distribution in Town.

Newton Town Manager Thomas S. Russo, Jr. convened a meeting at 2:30pm in the Newton Municipal Building with all impacted agencies of the County of Sussex, Town of Newton, and Andover Township.  Those in attendance represented the Newton Town Manager’s Office, Newton Town Council, Newton Police Department, Newton Fire Department, Newton OEM, Newton DPW, Newton Water and Sewer Utility, Newton School District, Newton Town Engineer, Andover Township Administrator’s Office, Andover DPW, Andover OEM, Andover Regional School District, Andover Township Committee, County of Sussex Administrator’s Office, County of Sussex OEM, County of Sussex Health Department, Sussex County Community College and County of Sussex Fire Marshal.

The Town of Newton has procured a 2” x 16” L301 Pipe Tapping Saddle IPS Thread on Gland Saddle with Strap.  The item has been ordered from Hanson Pressure and Precast in Grand Prairie, Texas and is expected to be delivered tomorrow morning at which time the Newton Water and Sewer Utility staff will begin the repair process.  The repair process is expected to take 4-5 hours. 

Accordingly, a boil water notice has been issued by the Town of Newton as per NJ DEP guidelines.  Therefore, until further notice, residents should bring tap water to a rolling boil for one minute and allow it to cool before using for consumption, drinking, ice cubes, washing vegetables and fruit, and for brushing teeth.  Residents should continue to boil water until they have been notified that the water quality is acceptable.  Once the main is turned back on, Newton will test water at several locations throughout the community to ensure water quality before the boil water notice can be lifted.

Newton has obtained several water buffalos for use by Newton residents at the following locations: Firehouse #1 at 22 Mill Street and Lower Spring Street near Camp Iliff.  A water buffalo station has also been set up in Drake Manor near the Newton Country Club for Andover water customers that have been impacted.  Water buffalos can be used at any time as they will be staffed by Newton DPW personnel around the clock. 

The Newton Fire Department has made the appropriate preparations to be fully capable of handling any fire emergencies that may arise during this time.  Also, if any elderly or special needs residents need help getting water they can call the Non-emergency police line at (973) 383-2525 and a DPW employee will be dispatched to assist.  Residents who are fortunate to have any level of water pressure are politely asked to please conserve water as much as possible. 

A meeting of all affected agencies will be held at 9:30am tomorrow morning after which time the Newton Town Manager’s Office will prepare another press release for dissemination.  Residents and business owners are asked to please be patient during this time as we try to minimize any inconveniences.