Image source: New Jersey American Water
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About 29,000 people remain under a boil water advisory after a water main break in Somerville, New Jersey late Friday afternoon.
"This is a very complicated break on a major transmission main," Carmen Tierno, Senior Director of Central Operations at New Jersey American Water, said in a statement sent to TheBlaze Saturday.
"Once the excavation site is safe for our workers, they will be able to start the process of removing the old section of 36-inch pipe and installing a new one, which can take 24 hours or more."
NJAM estimates the boil water advisory may be lifted in 24-48 hours.
The boil water advisory was issued Friday to customers in the towns of Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Somerville, and Raritan Borough.
"Effective immediately and until further notice, customers within the impacted areas are instructed to bring tap water to a rolling boil for one minute and allow cooling before using or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking; preparing foods; mixing baby formula, food, juices or drinks; washing vegetables and fruit; cooking; making ice; brushing teeth; and washing dishes until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water."
Customers were also warned to throw away foods or ice made with water on the day of the advisory and to avoid swallowing water while showering or bathing.
A mandatory outdoor water conservation notice was issued for customers in both Hunterdon and Somerset counties to help preserve water supplies as repair efforts continue.
The size of the main break lead to low and no water pressure in some areas. A few isolated neighborhoods in Bridgewater and Raritan Borough are still completely without water, Tierno also said.
The Bridgewater Commons shopping mall remained closed on Saturday as did other businesses in the area, NJ 101.5 reported.
Until it is lifted, multiple agencies and organizations are stepping up to offer assistance to affected residents.
NJAW worked with the Somerset County Office of Emergency Management and town officials to set up water distribution sites.
The YMCA facilities in Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Somerset Hills, and Princeton are offering shower and restroom facilities to all impacted residents. The facilities in Princeton and Somerset Hills will be available to provide drinking water, according to the YMCA's Facebook posts.
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