HOBOKEN, N.J. (PIX11) — The Mayor of Hoboken wants an investigation and public apology from Veolia North America for its handling of water testing following the large water main break Monday morning.
Specifically, why Veolia said the water was safe to drink on Monday and didn’t issue a boil water advisory until Tuesday evening.
“Veolia knew when the water pressure was low and unsafe to drink,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla told PIX11 News. “They did not read their water pressure testing mechanisms until the evening when people were already drinking that water. That creates a public safety hazard that they have to own.”
“We were following Veolia’s advisements, and at no point did we hear about an advisory until Tuesday night,” said Ken Ferrante, Hoboken’s director of public safety.
Veolia Communications Manager Christopher Halleron told PIX11 it was believed that the water pressure was up to the standards set by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on Monday.
“The information we had said the pressures were continuing throughout the city of Hoboken,” said Halleron. “Once we were finally able to isolate that main, we were given some data that showed that, unfortunately, that some pressure in certain locations had dipped the threshold.”
The City of Hoboken will continue to flush fire hydrants to stabilize the pressure within the water system.
“Pressured water fights any bacteria or microbes that might be in the system when it dips below a certain standard,” said Halleron.
There are 12 water distribution sites throughout the city.
The boil water advisory remains in effect until further notice. Water samples have been sent to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.