MILLBURN, N.J. (PIX11/AP) — A boil water advisory remains in effect for Millburn, Maplewood and Irvington after a water main break on Friday night.
It happened on Glen Avenue in Millburn after 10 p.m. Water gushed over Glen Avenue, Millburn Avenue and the train tracks near Millburn station after the 24-inch main burst. NJ Transit service was temporarily halted in the area due to the flood.
The train station was closed for safety reasons, affecting riders on the Morris and Essex lines.
One home on Glen Avenue took on over 3 feet of water.
“When I looked out my window this car was spinning around in circles,” said Glen Avenue resident Don Young on Saturday. His finished basement, driveway and 3 cars were inundated with water.
“We were helpless. The water was coming here at 3,000 or 4,000 gallons per minute. What are you going to do?” he said.
American Water removed the broken 2-by-4 cast iron pipe from beneath Glen Avenue on Saturday. They promised it would be replaced and that water service would be restored by dinner time to 35 Millburn homes still without water service on Saturday.
“It wasn’t a small break or a small crack it was a full blow out,” said Peter Eschbach, a spokesman for New Jersey American Water, who said the break could be blamed on a number of things.
“Chief among them right now are the seasonal temperatures, being cold, low frostlines, and the fact that this pipe was so old. All it takes is a small crack,” he said.
Don Young said American Water appears to be taking responsibility for the damage this caused to his home, but that he was disappointed by the town of Millburn’s response.
“In my eyes, emergency management failed,” he said, “The fire department was not equipped to handle the situation, meaning they didn’t know where any of the water shut offs were or anything.”
Young also says American Water was working on the main earlier this week. The utility denies that, stating it was routine maintenance and that it would not have caused the break.
At least six homes were evacuated. Some residents reported having no running water.
American Water says that as a precaution Millburn, Maplewood and Irvington residents should boil their water for at least one minute before consuming it. If lab tests come back clean, the utility says the boil water advisory can be lifted by tomorrow afternoon.
No injuries have been reported.