Boil Water Advisory lifted in Jersey City after positive E. coli bacteria test result

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- A boil water advisory that had been issued for residents of Jersey City following a positive E. coli bacteria test result has been lifted.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said test results no longer showed contamination.



Jersey City residents and restaurants were asked to boil water before drinking it or using it to cook Friday morning after testing revealed an "irregularity."

Upon receiving the result, SUEZ said it immediately notified local officials and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Mayor Steven Fulop said the "irregularity" was discovered near Christ Hospital on Thursday, though the same issue did not show up in a second test.



Fulop called out Suez for lag time in notifying city on the water issue.

"There is still a boil water alert in place for Jersey City as we await additional test results from Suez," the mayor posted on his Facebook Sunday. "We are extremely concerned and extremely disappointed in Suez here. The time lag between when Suez first was aware of the issue with a test result and when they notified the city of a potential issue is absolutely unacceptable. Without question we will pursue this aggressively against Suez with the City Council but the first priority today is to identify the location of the problem and get it corrected from a health standpoint."

Fulop said Friday morning Suez notified the City of Jersey City that there was a positive test for E. coli several days earlier and that there was a potential issue.

"They notified the state DEP and Jersey City," he said. "We immediately put out a boil alert notification for residents which is still in place as we await more test results - we will not lift the boil alert until we are 100% certain the problem is corrected. As a point of reference Suez does about 160 tests per month citywide (every month) and this is the first time I can recall any abnormal test in as long as I have been involved in government. We need to better understand what the issue is and why it occurred. Once the problem is resolved we will have ample time to question Suez and make sure that the process is corrected long term."

E. coli bacteria can cause illness and are especially a concern for people with weakened immune systems.

"We had the chef boil a large pot of water," Pet Shop restaurant owner David Rappaport said.

Rappaport was not alone, he was one of many restaurant owners taking precautions.

Residents alike were also taking no chances, as officials said they were testing up and down stream.

"First person I called was my mom, she lives in the neighborhood. I was like 'boil your water or drink the bottled water,'" resident Gil Torres said.

The owner of the seafood restaurant Lobster Garage Ron Smith said he was trying his best, but he was more concerned about the city's response.

"The water lines are so old and archaic this is something we have to deal with frequently," Smith said. "A customer told us, Jersey City doesn't do a good job communicating, it has problems with the water."

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