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Water Main Break Leaves Residents with 'Little or No' Water Pressure

Update: United Water says repair work continues and could last until early Thursday afternoon.

What is being described by borough officials as a “large water main break” at Palisade Avenue and Bluff Road Wednesday evening forced closure of a portion of roadway and left an unknown number of Fort Lee residents with little or no water pressure.

said United Water was notified and were “responding to fix the main,” but that the company provided no estimate on how long it would take to fix the break or restore full service.

Police closed the portion of Palisade Avenue from Columbia Avenue to Central Boulevard and were diverting traffic at the scene.

Police said they received calls from as far away from where the water main break occurred as the north end of Fort Lee, and even Palisades Park and Englewood Cliffs.

Fort Lee Councilman Jan Goldberg told Patch Wednesday night that the problem was widespread in the borough.

“It’s affecting the whole town,” Goldberg said. “I talked to some of the high-rise buildings; they’re losing pressure. I talked to Med West; I know they’re losing pressure. And from what I was told, Linwood is also losing pressure. It’s going all the way across.”

Goldberg said he spoke with United Water, and was told only that they’re responding and “it’s going to take time.”

“Apparently they’re calling it a major water break,” Goldberg said.

United Water New Jersey issued a statement Wednesday night, saying that an emergency crew had been dispatched to repair the 30-inch main, and that customers could expect low pressure or discoloration of their water while repairs are being made.

“The water meets safe drinking water standards,” according to the statement. “However, customers may prefer to wait until the water clears before using it for drinking or laundry.”

Late Wednesday night Fort Lee Fire Chief Keith Sabatino told Patch that "all water [was] restored, except for Palisade Avenue between Forest Avenue and [the] Cliffside border."

"Kensington complex and Buckingham Towers are without water," Sabatino said.

At about 6 a.m. Thursday, United Water issued another alert, saying emergency crews were continuing repair work, and that customers in the affected area would continue to have little to no water pressure “until repairs are complete.”

"The affected area stretches along Palisade Avenue from Forest in Fort Lee to Lafayette in Cliffside," a United Water spokesperson told Patch Thursday morning. "The repair crew, [which worked throughout the night], will continue to work through the day to restore service as quickly as possible."

Customers with water service or reduced pressure "do not need to take any further action," the company said, adding that a boil water advisory will be issued as a precautionary measure for customers in the affected area once service is returned.

The company said repair work is expected to continue until early Thursday afternoon.

For updated information, refer to United Water New Jersey's website.

Melissa Walsh March 01, 2012 at 09:19 PM
a little birdie told me that I "should have service by 6:30" I sure hope so!!
Bob D March 01, 2012 at 11:41 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/topstories/fortlee/Fort_Lee_water_main_break_will.html Says the pipe was repaired at 3pm and they started restoring service at 5:37. Slowly apparently as it hasn't reached here yet (6:30pm Palisade and Rt 5) Here is the United Water statement: http://www.unitedwater.com/newjersey/Newscenter.aspx?id=7701
Mote March 02, 2012 at 11:24 PM
This water main break destroyed the foundations of several nearby homes including filling their basements with several feet of water and the destruction of everything that was submerged. When United Water was asked about who will be responsible to repair the extensive damage to these homes, they were quick to say it wasn't going to be them! It's surely time to get a good lawyer and make them pay for their disregard of maintaining the system that we pay them good money for!
Bill Mitchell March 02, 2012 at 11:52 PM
It's been my unfortunate experience that unless you can show that the damage was due to the negligence of the owner of water pipes, it's a tough battle, one I hope they win. Unless they have flood insurance it's a battle they may have to fight. Pipes break.

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