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Boil water advisory is issued for Piscataway, surrounding areas after water main break

Those living on Busch and Livingston campuses are advised to boil their water before consumption or use bottled water instead. – Photo by Sasikan Ulevik / Unsplash

A water main break occurred yesterday on Possumtown Road in Piscataway, resulting in lower than normal water pressure and a mandatory boil water advisory for individuals on Busch and Livingston campuses as well as surrounding areas, according to two emails from Rutgers Public Safety.

Individuals in Piscataway, Edison, Clark, Dunellen, Green Brook, Linden, Middlesex, Roselle and South Plainfield should follow this advisory immediately. Residents are instructed to bring tap water to a rolling boil for one minute and let it cool before using, or use bottled water.

“A potential or actual threat to the quality of water being provided to the above areas currently exists,” one of the emails stated. “As a precaution, we are implementing a limited Boil Water Advisory until testing of the water supply is deemed satisfactory. New Jersey American Water will provide information as to when the advisory is lifted.”

Residents should only use boiled or bottled water for drinking, food preparation, cooking, baby formula, ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and other activities involving water consumption until further notice.

New Jersey American Water recommended additional steps for the individuals to follow including getting rid of uncooked food, drinks and ice cubes previously made with tap water on the day of the advisory, not swallowing water while showering or bathing and not using home water filtering tools in place of boiling.

Other steps include using only boiled and cooled water for injuries, keeping boiled water in the refrigerator for consumption and storing it for 2 to 3 days, providing pets with properly boiled and cooled water and rinsing hand-washed dishes with a diluted bleach solution or using the hot wash and dry cycle in a dishwasher.

Individuals within the area are also being asked to limit their water usage to only essential purposes as New Jersey American Water works to solve the issue.

In addition to having an effect on domestic water lines, the break also has an impact on fire suppression systems. Several additional precautions should be taken at this time until water service is fully restored in order to reduce this impact.

These precautions include suspending all planned hot work, scheduled impairments to fire suppression systems and work regarding hazardous materials, as well as shutting down all water-cooled equipment and processes.

“Rutgers Emergency Services is in close contact with Piscataway and Middlesex County Offices of Emergency Management and receiving regular updates," the email stated. "At this time, there is no estimated timeline for restoration of service.”

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