Service nearly 100% after water main break in Belleville; boil water advisory still in effect

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Thursday, August 11, 2022
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Water service is close to being restored at 100% after a massive water main break at the Newark-Belleville border impacted thousands of residents.

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Water service has nearly been fully restored after a large water main break near the Newark-Belleville border prompted officials to declare a city-wide emergency in Newark amid a day of extreme heat and humidity on Tuesday.

Belleville Mayor Michael Melham says that most of the town has full water pressure. The same is true in Newark, where Mayor Ras Baraka announced that full water pressure would be at 100% by Wednesday evening.

"We have made outstanding progress on controlling this leak from the water main break from the beginning, and I thank our Water and Sewer Utilities team for their round-the-clock efforts to do so," Mayor Baraka said.

While water service is expected to be fully restored soon, residents in Newark and neighboring Belleville are still being advised to boil water until further notice.

Free cases of bottled water were distributed to residents at the Belleville Senior Center at 125 Franklin Ave on Tuesday night as a result of the water main break.

The town says they will decide on Thursday if water bottle distribution will resume.

Workers also went door-to-door in Newark giving out water bottles to those in need. Newark residents can request water by calling 973-733-4311.

Approximately 100,000 people were impacted in Newark alone, according to Kareem Adeem, Director of the Newark Department of Water and Sewer Utilities.

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center is once again accepting visitors after the break forced the hospital to place temporary restriction.

All of this comes after a major, 42-inch water main broke in Branch Brook Park on the Newark-Belleville city line just before 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Newark Firefighters and Police responded to the scene as water gushed from the broken main and flooded Clinton and Mill Streets.

Video from NewsCopter 7 showed the muddy, rushing river caused by the break.

WATCH: NewsCopter 7 over massive water main break on Newark-Belleville line

First responders assisted with a private vehicle which fell into a sinkhole near the break.

The motorist escaped as the car was being swallowed up into the hole. Part of the submerged vehicle could be seen sticking out above the rushing water.

Newark Water Department crews were on site working to repair the large main, which Adeem said was originally installed back in 1880.

Newark's Office of Emergency Management sought mutual aid from neighboring cities to supply water tankers as repairs were being made.

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