Lake Como Town Officials, Water Company At Odds Over Who's At Fault

LAKE COMO, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Nearly seven months after Hurricane Sandy pounded the New Jersey shoreline, some residents claim their drinking water is undrinkable.

Heather Albala-Doyle said she has been dealing with murky, discolored water for months and said the battle to get it corrected has left her feeling drained.

“I can’t be nice about this anymore,” she told CBS 2’s Don Champion on Tuesday. “Beyond frustrating to know that I am paying for water that I can barely use.”

Albala-Doyle said the fact that a nearby fire hydrant was recently flushed proves her concerns.

To deal with the water woes, the Doyles said they’ve been spending $80 a month on bottled water.

“We are not cooking with it, we are not brushing our teeth with it, we are doing nothing with it,” she told Champion.

The family even bathes half an hour away every day at a family member’s house.

Doyle and other neighbors complaining about the water woes are caught in the middle over who and what is to blame.

“We encountered a few issues in town, one being there were closed valves,” said Kevin Kirwan with New Jersey American Water, the company that supplies Lake Como with water.

The company has blamed the issue on the town’s aging pipes.

The town, on the other hand, blames a new disinfectant the water company admits it changed to last year.

“Any abnormalities we’ve found in the system have been corrected and we flushed the entire system the whole town over and we still have issues,” Brendan Maas with Lake Como Public Works told Champion.

A murky situation has made Albala-Doyle’s concern worse.

“Who’s to blame? I don’t know. But the issue is it needs to be resolved,” she told Champion.

CBS 2 checked and the neighboring towns of Avon and Belmar are reporting similar problems.

Both said they will be switching over to their own well water supplies in the next few weeks.

If those town’s water problems go away, Lake Como officials said that’s proof the New Jersey American water is to blame for the problem.

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