SUSSEX, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Residents in two New Jersey towns are questioning whether their drinking water is safe.
Residents of Sussex borough and parts of Wantage say they’ve seen cloudy and brown water and recently had no water at all, CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported.READ MORE: 'Survivor 41' Episode 6: The Merge Part 1
“It was brown, very nasty, very gucky,” Ava Schark, a resident of Sussex borough, described of the water she saw last week. “It smelled pretty bad.”
A construction crew hit a water main, causing the problem. More than 2,000 customers who get their water from Agra Environmental and Laboratory Services didn’t have water for two days.
“We worked 24/7 for about four or five days restoring all the water pressure,” said Mike Furrey, Agra’s owner.
But residents said they’ve had other issues with the water.
“It was just white and dredgy, very calcium-like,” Schark said.
“I will not give it to my children,” she added. “We do bottled water.”
“We pay for the water, so we would like to know that we are drinking healthy water,” said resident Elena Pagan.
There have been six water violations just this year, according to the borough, which contracts the treatment plant, as well as a series of advisories over the years.READ MORE: FDNY Unions Protest Vaccine Mandate For NYC Workers, First Responders: 'We Currently Have A Staffing Shortage As It Is'
But Sussex’s mayor insisted the water is safe to drink.
“Our water meets all DEP and federal safety regulations,” Mayor Jonathan Rose said. “It’s been tested every week.”
The mayor blamed the problems on aging pipes and plants, not the facility.
He said the borough has a public plant and lacks the money for upgrades.
“So we’re stuck between the rock of aging infrastructure and the hard spot of high rates already,” Rose said.
This past election, residents rejected a measure that would have privatized their water.
Water treatment plant officials say they will continue testing the water every two weeks to make sure it is safe to drink.
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