Advisory Issued to Barrier Island Residents Returning to Homes This week
Toms River–Returning residents and visitors to the Ocean County barrier island communities of Chadwick Beach, Lavallette, Mantoloking, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, South Seaside Park, Pelican Island and Brick, Toms River and Berkeley Township portions of the Barrier Islands (e.g. Normandy Beach, Ortley Beach, Dover Beach North, Dover Beach South), are advised NOT to use the water supply for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, making baby formula or juice, feeding to pets, or other consumptive uses.
Those returning to their homes are advised to use bottled water for drinking.
Most water companies are currently working with the New Jersey DEP to assess their tanks, pipes, pumps and valves, and most have not been able to monitor water quality in those areas yet.
Water companies are filling storage tanks and water towers to provide water for fire protection. It will be several days to weeks, however, depending on damage incurred and the pace of restoration, before inspections of water systems are completed, repairs made, and sampling is conducted to ensure water quality is acceptable.
You may have water in your lines but it is not acceptable to consume it until testing is complete. You are advised by most water companies that the water is NOT safe to consume.
DO NOT FLUSH NOTICE
Residents and visitors to Ocean County barrier islands municipalities also are advised that local sewage treatment systems also have suffered substantial damage. There are breaks in many of the systems, which may have damaged and/or malfunctioning equipment.
Those returning home are advised not to flush toilets, take baths and showers, or use washing machines or dishwashers. The discharge from such activities will strain already disabled or broken systems, and may cause environmental damage and backup of sewage in homes.
Sewer utilities are working with New Jersey DEP to assess the conditions of their treatment systems and make needed repairs to restore service and ensure the integrity of their systems.
REPORT ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS
Returning residents and visitors may see or encounter environmental problems as they return home. It could be anything from a leaking oil tank or water line to unusual odors or questions about the disposal of household hazardous waste or electronic waste.
If you have any environmental concerns you are strongly encouraged to call the DEP’s Environmental Hotline to report the problem and seek assistance. Call 1-877-WARNDEP or 1-877-927-6337.