United Water Maintenance may affect Hoboken Water

Remember back in September many Hoboken residents had disgusting brown water for what seemed like an eternity?

Well – we may get more brown water again as United Water announced a big maintenance project on the 100 year old aquaduct that services the mile square city:

Expect “harmless minerals,” says United Water

United Water Jersey City will shut down Jersey City’s water supply aqueduct from October 22 to approximately November 20. During that time, customers in Jersey City and Hoboken will receive water from Passaic Valley Water Commission, North Jersey District Water Supply Commission and the Newark Water Department.

The company will inspect and perform maintenance on parts of the 100-year old tunnel system. In addition, maintenance and improvements will be made at the city’s water treatment plant in Boonton. “This work is part of routine maintenance that is typically performed every 2-3 years and will help us to ensure water quality and service reliability,” said John Hroncich, operations manager for United Water Jersey City.

Customers may experience discolored water at the beginning and end of the shutdown. This is a buildup of harmless minerals in the water mains. Although the discolored water poses no health threat, customers may want to let it run clear before using it for drinking, cooking or washing clothes. United Water crews will be flushing the system to remove and minimize any discoloration.

The project, which had been originally scheduled to begin in early October, had been rescheduled while maintenance work was completed on an interconnection that will provide customers with an alternate water source while the aqueduct is shut down.

“We want to ensure that our customers have a reliable source of supply of water while we perform necessary maintenance,” said Hroncich. “In preparation for the inspection, a leak was discovered on the Newark Water Department pipeline which will be used to provide temporary water service to our customers. Now that Newark has repaired the leak, we can proceed.”

Water still brown in Hoboken, NJ

9/22/2012 12:01am update:

Oh brother – I missed this update from United Water – they said on Wednesday at 4pm that “algae” might have been an issue with water quality… funny how water problems are getting worse today (FRIDAY). Something is not right that the problem continues to plague our city.

“In order to control naturally occurring algae populations that can contribute to taste and odor issues, United Water will treat the Boonton Reservoir with copper sulfate on Thursday, September 20. This treatment will improve water quality and is being applied in accordance with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection guidelines.”

9/20/2012 5:00pm Update:

Hoboken411 reader Allison wanted to share some information she got from United Water today.

She called the water company to express the fact that her laundry was also stained by the water. Apparently – United Water will drop off some laundry treatment (which we believe is this stuff called RIT Whitener & Brightener).

United Water also advised NOT to put any of the stained clothing into the dryer – as that will permanently set the stain. (Since when do water companies hand out laundry tips? WTF?)

Anyway – I did some research of my own – and blogger Jill from One Good Thing By Jillee – said that RIT stuff didn’t really work – and to use a specific laundry detergent called White Brite for best results.

Great – not only do we need to worry about getting poisoned from the gross water – we may also look like dingy slobs! Damnit!

9/20/2012 11:35am Update:
United Water promises the water is safe – and offered this statement:

“We know that some residents are inconvenienced, but please note that this is a naturally occurring event that was caused by low water levels in the reservoir. This is not an uncommon issue at this time of year, but has been particularly true this summer with so little rainfall.

Water supplies rely on natural systems that respond to changes in the environment. As a result, it is difficult to predict exactly how long it will take to resolve this problem.

We have taken several actions to try to alleviate the issue, including extensive flushing, repositioning of our reservoir intake, and treatment modifications.

Despite the aesthetic issues, the water does continue to meet all safe drinking water standards.”

9/20/2012 11:25am Update:
Wow, we’re going on almost a week here with this murky Hoboken water situation. Below is a photo Hoboken411 reader Robert sent in – from TODAY.

The reservoir explanation United Water gave seems to be a bit off – since we had a massive drenching rain storm on Tuesday.

Also commenter Karen13 said that her whites got ruined permanently after doing laundry with the nasty brown water. Consider yourself warned!

Will the rain help with the stinky Hoboken water?

9/18/2012 Update:

Channel 7 Eyewitness News had a brief story on our smelly water situation here in Hoboken – but essentially said what has already been posted here.

Funny thing is that the news crew actually had a hard time finding people who encountered problems – so perhaps it’s not the reservoirs – and maybe just rotten pipes!

We’ll see if today’s rain makes a difference.

WTF up with Hoboken water already?

9/18/2012 5:30am Update:

Hoboken411 has been on this suspicious Hoboken water situation since the weekend, and is wondering – since United Water suggested a couple reasons for the “smell” (first – it was a “localized” problem – which we think may be related to ancient infrastructure in Hoboken – then pointing fingers at “stagnant” reservoirs) if today’s rain rectifies the problem.

However – if you still have smelly, gross water despite the fresh mother nature tears coming from the sky – please don’t hesitate to share your observations… because then that may be reason to start being concerned that the situation is worse than we imagined.

Water smells a bit funny in Hoboken…

9/16/2012 5:30pm Update:

Yesterday and today, Hoboken411 received many emails from residents who were complaining about the smell of the water in town. The descriptions ranged from sulfur to mildewy or chlorine like.

We talked to officials for United Water who said there was no system wide problem, and that it’s most likely a localized situation in Hoboken.

They have dispatched a crew to flush the system and assure customers that it is not a water quality issue.

Hoboken NJ

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