Westfield, Mountainside, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Union County, New Jersey
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The Newspaper
Storm Edition (pdf)

- E-Town Release
8:00PM Sep 24

- E-Town Release
7:30PM Sep 24

- E-Town's Web Site

- Beware of Scams

- E-Town Release
7:30AM Sep 21

- E-Town Release
5:30PM Sep 19

- E-Town Release
10:50AM Sep 19

- E-Town Release
6:50PM Sep 18

- The Lighter Side

- How To Conserve

- Elizabethtown Q & A

- Photo's Damaged Plant

- More Photos of Storm

- TV-36 Articles

- Floyd Articles

- Floyd Cam


UPDATE - September 24 - 8:00pm



   The Company "continues to restore capacity at its Bridgewater plant and urges customers not to waste water."

   Elizabethtown Water Company is lifting the boil water advisory after receiving comprehensive test results confirming that there are no bacteriological contaminants in the water that is being distributed through our mains. Testing done by the Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Safe Drinking Water confirms these findings.

   Elizabethtown appreciates all the help we received from our business and residential customers. Their cooperation has been terrific and very important.

   Recommendations for customers with the lifting of the boil water advisory:

  • Run cold water faucets for three minutes each, if it has not been used in the last twenty-four hours;i
  • For home automatic ice makers, make and discard the first three batches of ice;
  • Drain and refill hot water heaters if the temperature is kept below 113 degrees;
  • Run water coolers with direct water connections for five minutes.
  • Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle;
  • Drain water reservoirs in tall buildings;
  • Continuously run drinking fountains for three minutes.

   For additional questions, please call (800) 272-1325.

Editors Note: 10:00 am - 9/25/99 - ETown Water Production Status:

   Bound Brook Plant is at 60 MGD (40% capacity) with plans to go to 80 MGD this weekend.

   Franklin Plant is at 40 MGD (about 200% capacity) with plans to back down treatment rate per above progress at Bound Brook. Wells are at 10 MGD (100% - normally standby); Newark backfeed pipe is at 10 MGD (emergency tie-in). Therefore total production at this moment is 120 MGD.

   Typical production at this time of year is about 150 MGD with standby reserves available for backup.

   Industries that had closed or curtailed operation are now carefully coming back on line.

(MGD = million gallons per day.)

UPDATE - September 23 - 4:00pm


   At a press conference this afternoon Elizabethtown Water has announcedthat the conserve/Boil order will remain in effect for a few days yet.
   E-towns main processing plant is now at 25% of normal and is *slowly*being ramped up to normal production levels. Customers are advised that, aspressure returns to the system, they may notice discoloration of their waterdue to sediment being stirred up in the mains. This should go away quickly, but customers may need to flush their hot waterheaters of these sediments.
   Some news reports earlier today reported that the conserve/boil order will be lifted tomorrow THIS IS NOT ACCURATE!!Please pass the word

UPDATE - September 23 - 9:00am



Elizabethtown has posted a question and answer section on their Web site. Take a look.

UPDATE - September 22 - 3:30pm


   Elizabethtown today announced that the results of water quality samples taken in the distribution system indicate that the water meets all standards for water quality. Nevertheless, Elizabethtown still urges customers to continue to boil water for three minutes before consuming it until the overall situation stabilizes.
   Samples have been taken throughout the service territory, including the areas that had low water pressure during the past several days and therefore, were more susceptible to bacterial contamination. All samples meet water quality standards set by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
   The Company continues to make progress in repairing facilities at the treatment plant with the goal of adding additional treatment capacity later this week. Production remains at 10 percent of capacity and all customers have water.
   The Company is still relying on its residential and business customers to continue to conserve water.

UPDATE - September 21- 1:30pm


   Discussions between Horace Corbin of The Westfield Leader and LynnShafer of Elizabethtown Water Company of Westfield confirm that someinformation printed in regional newspapers this morning is incorrect.There is concern that this information may mislead the public and may bedetrimental to resolving the emergency water supply crisis. Articleshave been printed this morning that state that the damaged water plantis now back in operation at a 30% capacity and that pressure is at 100% in the distribution mains.

   According to Ms. Shafer, the plant has been to 10% test operation as oflast night on a very fragile basis. "It is critical that consumerscontinue to drastically conserve water". Even when the plant makes itback to capacity, conservation will continue to be required until theplant becomes stable. A failure of the plant during this time due tohigh consumer demand can lead to major setbacks.

   Editor's note: The message continues to be emphatically: "Drastically restrict use throughout the 500,000 population base in the water servicearea".

UPDATE - September 20 - 3:10pm


   According to Water Company spokesperson, Donna Gregory at this hour, the water supply situation remains critical. The company continues to appeal to the public to drastically reduce consumption.

   The water company internet site (www.etownwater.com) remains off line due to problems with their service provider, Bell Atlantic. No time could be given as to when this service will be restored.

   Voluntary industry response is good, many plants and facilities are closing down today until further notice (such as the large Ford Motor plant in Edison, NJ and many others); other facitilities are substantially reducing consumption; connections to closed facilities are being kept active for fire fighting reasons. A complete list is not available at this moment due to the fast changing circumstances.

   Little information is available to us from local governments as to the actions they are taking. Reportedly, some communities have been distributing fliers appealing for conservation. This newspaper remains concerned about this piece of the puzzle.

   We are gathering information, working with the Water Company and others to provide practical suggestions to people on how to cope without showers, not washing dishes and not washing clothes throughout a prolonged period. We hope to have the first edition of this available in a few hours.

   Repairs to the damaged plant are proceeding on plan, as fast as possible. But this remains a very involved and time consuming process.

UPDATE - September 20- AM Update


   PUBLISHERS NOTE: This is a very serious situation that has been in existence now for 3 days. We are concerned that the required actions will not be taken in time. The water company is doing all it can. To our understanding, scientist and engineers from industry are now pitching in to help repair the water plant. But in the interim, a massive public coordination effort with 500,000 people is required immediately to reduce water use. The government emergency communication system for the region has not measured up to the task, in my view. We remain hopeful.

   Summary: Hurricane Floyd Has Knocked Out The Main Water Treatment Plant in Bound Brook, NJ of Elizabethtown Water Company for 500,000 people and industry in 45 (47, edited 3:45 pm 9/20) towns of Union, Somerset, Morris, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex Counties. The public and industry face prolonged problems before complete repairs can be implemented. All emergency standby supply systems have been placed on line and are strained well beyond design capacity.

   The water company can only produce 60% of the current 150 million gallons per day demand. Storage in the distribution network is depleted, and the entire system is threatened with shutdown. Currently, 50,000 people are without water. The 100 major water using industries in the area (will be shutoff today, revised 3:45 pm 9/20) will be voluntarily closed (9/20/99) by the water company. This will not be enough to stop the decay. Unless water is rationed by the general public to drastically reduce consumption, a domino of failures will occur.

   Failure of the water system may be avoidable with an emergency coordinated effort by government throughout the Counties to get the correct message to the public or impart rationing. The public is confused and inadequately informed. Many in government seem to be confused too. Most people believe that water contamination is the greatest threat - rather than the fact that soon there may be little or no water at all. Make no mistake about it, water quality is a concern too.

   Specific, practical and understandable rationing instructions must be given to the public.

The Westfield Leader - PO Box 250, 50 Elm St., Westfield, NJ 07091, 908 232-4407; fax 908 232-0473
The Times - PO Box 368, 1906 Bartle Ave, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076, 908 322-4155

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Copyright 1999 www.goleader.com - press@goleader.com - Revised: September 25, 1999.