The Montclair Water Bureau announced that it has made repairs and to the water main break that occurred early this morning. A boil water advisory issued to a portion of the town still remains in effect until further notice. This was the third water main break in Montclair in the last four months. 

At 7:45 a.m. a severe water main break occurred at the intersection of Bloomfield Avenue and Midland Avenue. Due to the high volume of water and the number of utilities in the ground, the Water Bureau announced that it had performed a complete shutdown and was issuing a boil water advisory for those in the affected area. 

“A potential or actual threat to the quality of water being provided to you currently exists,” the initial boil water advisory said. “As a precaution, we are implementing a limited Boil Water Advisory until testing of the water supply is deemed satisfactory.”

Effective immediately and until further notice, residents within the affected area of Bloomfield Avenue between Valley Road and South Park Street, including all of Maple Plaza, were instructed by the bureau to bring tap water to a rolling boil for one minute and allow the tap water to cool before using, or use bottled water as an alternative. Boiling the water will kill bacteria and other organisms in the water.

The bureau said boiled or bottled water should be used for all daily needs, including drinking, preparing foods, mixing baby formula, food, juices or drinks, washing vegetables and fruit, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth and washing dishes. 

Bottled water is available at the Montclair Fire Headquarters at 1 Pine Street for residents or businesses affected by the water main break. Those who are unable to go to the headquarters may call (973) 744-1234.

Montclair’s Water Bureau also issued a number of recommended measures. These include rinsing dishes with diluted bleach solution, avoiding swallowing water while showering or bathing, throwing away uncooked food, beverages or ice cubes made with tap water during the day of the advisory and more. The full list of recommended measures is provided in the official advisory announcement.  

Water main break on the intersection of Bloomfield Avenue and Midland Avenue. (EDWARD KENSIK/STAFF)
Water main break on the intersection of Bloomfield Avenue and Midland Avenue. (EDWARD KENSIK/STAFF)

At around 9 p.m. the Water Bureau sent out another announcement stating that repairs have been made and that water has been restored. The announcement clarifies concerns with murky water seen throughout the area. 

"The brown water that is being seen throughout the town does not pose a risk. It is mineral content that settles out in the main over time," the Water Bureau update said. "Due to the size of the break there was a slight pressure drop through the water system. As the Water Bureau isolated the issue the pressure began to restore changing the velocity in the system and stirring up the mineral content." 

Water main breaks and the protocols associated with them are not foreign to Montclair residents. Since early September, Montclair has experienced two other water main breaks and one boil water advisory as a result of a break in a nearby town. 

On Sept. 14, a 20-foot pipe burst on Upper Mountain Avenue. This left 10 homes without water for about five hours. Later that month, on Sept. 28, a pipe burst in Nutley, resulting in a declaration of a state of emergency. This water crisis left Montclair residents in a water boil advisory until the first couple weeks of October. And just eight days ago, Montclair experienced a water break on the intersection of Upper Mountain Avenue and Laurel Place.