Malfunction at water plant prompts boil water advisory in Mercer County

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Thousands of Mercer County residents are being told to boil their water after a malfunction at the Trenton Water Works treatment plant.

About 210,000 customers are affected by the advisory. The facility is owned and operated by the City of Trenton. But it also services residents in parts of Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell and Lawrence Township.

Some students at the College of New Jersey in Ewing told News 12 New Jersey that they will be drinking bottled water for the foreseeable future.

“And that’s kind of an inconvenience – for anybody it would be. But we just have to stock up on bottled water,” says senior Alana Adams.

Student Claire D'Ascenzo says that the inconvenience impacts things that she didn’t even think of, like brushing her teeth.

Steven Picco, the interim water and sewer director at Trenton Water Works, says that an alarm went off at the distribution system plane Thursday night that indicated that chlorine levels in the water were too low.

“We get most of our water from the Delaware River. And lots of people use the Delaware River a lot of different ways and things can get into the water,” he says. “The filtration plant’s job is to get them out. One of the ways they get them out is by hitting it with chlorine.”

Picco says that the issued was fixed quickly, but until tests in all the system's service areas come back clean, the boil water advisory will remain.

“It’s not to say that we didn't knock out the bacteria anyway. It just wasn’t at the levels that the [regulations] require us to be at - so hence the advisory,” Picco says.

Picco says that bottled or boiled water should be used for everything for the time being. Water test results are expected back Saturday.

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