Passaic Valley Water customers frustrated over continued boil water advisory stemming from Ida

Tens of thousands remain under a boil water advisory for almost two weeks now following flooding from Ida.

News 12 Staff

Sep 14, 2021, 11:23 PM

Updated 948 days ago

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Tens of thousands of people remain under a boil water advisory for almost two weeks following flooding from Ida.
Clifton is among the communities where residents are getting very frustrated with the ongoing situation.
The city now has a water distribution site for residents affected by the boil water advisory to pick up cases of water.
Many of them say this is the first time they've received or heard about free water, and they say a lot of their neighbors are just finding out about the advisory that has been in place for many Passaic Valley Water Commission customers since Sept. 2. That's when runoff water from Ida contaminated the New Street Reservoir in Woodland Park.
Nearly two weeks later frustrations are boiling over, and fingers are pointing over the lengthy fix and a lack of communication and information.
Many residents at the water distribution center said neighbors are still just finding out about the advisory and the free water distribution.
"Nine out of 10 people don't know what's going on. And if this was a much more of an emergency situation, I don't know I can feel comfortable knowing Clifton would tell us what's going on," said Rachel Castelino.
Over 250,000 customers in Clifton and nearby Paterson, Woodland Park and Passaic are included in the advisory.
Those cities are trying to distribute water to as many people as possible at distribution centers and drive-up locations, and even going door-to-door to help some who may be homebound.
"This is all new to us, and they said it was going to be couple days and now it's more than a couple weeks, it's going into," said Maria Rayner.
"The thing that we've really noticed is how difficult it is to live without bottled, without drinkable water coming out of the faucet. Especially when you have kids. Someone is always forgetting and accidentally brushing their teeth with the wrong water," Castelino said.
While some residents are appreciative of the free water, they are unhappy with the time it's taking to fix the problem. They said it is especially frustrating that there is no timeline other than "until further notice."
They are also frustrated with what they say is a lack of communication from the water company and the city, and many fear that not enough people know about the possible contamination.
Passaic Valley Water is working to manage the contamination.


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