All of Monmouth County, N.J., remains in a under a state of emergency and strict water conservation measures are in effect after a water main break on Friday.
New Jersey American Water Company and county emergency management officials reduced the boil water advisory to 22 towns Saturday. Residents are still banned from outdoor water use after three water mains collapsed at the Swimming River Water Treatment Plant in Tinton Falls.
The Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management has declared a countywide state of emergency.
Residents of Monmouth County waited in line to pick up their free case of bottled water.
"They're (Con Ed) is giving us water everything's fine at home -- we just need to sweat it out – literally, yeah."
All affected by Friday afternoon's massive water main break at the New Jersey American Water, Swimming River Treatment Plant in Colts Neck. The plant's pipe bridge collapsed despite being checked just last week, taking three pipes with it.
"What exactly happened, what caused the failure we don't know," said Peter Eschbach of New Jersey American Water.
What we "do" know is more than 150,000 people throughout Monmouth County are being asked to conserve water usage indoors and under no circumstances are you to use it outside.
In addition, 22 towns from Aberdeen to Highlands and as far south as Neptune are under a mandatory boil water advisory.
"This is about the lousiest time of year for this to happen," said Governor Chris Christie.
The water main break has the Governor's attention.
"American Water is trying to get resolved by the Fourth of July."
The company has ordered the specialty pipe needed from a foundry in Alabama, which is the only place in the country making it right now.
Officials said it should arrive in 24 hours.
In the meantime, a temporary bypass has been constructed at the plant so water, however limited, is available to customers.
Three locations will open for water distribution on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The locations will remain open until the supply is depleted. There is a limit of one case of water per vehicle. @
The locations are:
Middletown North High School, 63 Tindall Road, Middletown
Middletown South High School, 900 Nut Swamp Rd, Middletown
Wolf Hill Recreation Area, 3 Crescent Place, Oceanport
The boil water advisory is a precaution and is required by the state. Until further notice, customers should bring tap water to a rolling boil for one minute and then allow it to cool before using for drinking, ice cubes, washing vegetables and fruit, and brushing teeth.
The outdoor water ban means Monmouth County residents are not allowed to water existing lawns, trees, shrubs and gardens; use water for nonessential reasons; and wash cars except at commercial car washes that recycle water.
"The Monmouth County Sheriff's Office is working with local law enforcement agencies to ensure that the outdoor water ban is strictly enforced," Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden said. "These restrictions are not just for New Jersey American Water customers, but for everyone in Monmouth County. Cooperation is necessary to ensure public safety."
The 22 affected towns include Middletown, Holmdel, Aberdeen, Highlands, Rumson, Fair Haven, Little Silver, Oceanport, Sea Bright, Tinton Falls, Shrewsbury, Long Branch, Eatontown, West Long Branch, Deal, Allenhurst, Loch Arbor and Neptune. Monmouth Beach, Lake Como and Shrewsbury and Ocean townships were added Saturday morning.
New Jersey American Water also recommends the following steps: