Complete Incompetence By New Jersey American Water Co

Last Sunday Daughter and I happened to drive by the Swimming River water treatment plant owned and operated by New Jersey American Water. We noticed that the bridge which paralleled the road and spillway had STILL not been repaired after the damage it received from Tropical Storm Irene…last AUGUST.

Yesterday, bridge go boom.

Nearly 200,000 could be without clean water for days after pipes break in Monmouth

MIDDLETOWN — Monmouth County officials and New Jersey American Water Company expanded the boil-water advisory this morning to 22 towns one day after a 90-foot section of a wooden bridge, which propped up the water pipes, collapsed.

The collapse occurred at the company’s water treatment plant at Swimming River Reservoir.

Here are a few pictures like this

I can not believe the incredible level of incompetence that this seems to indicate. To not do a complete and thorough structural evaluation of the major pipes that are right in front of the goddamned treatment plant completely boggles my mind.


So here we are on the busiest weekend of the year at the Shore, and now also the hottest, and the entire county has no water and we don’t know for how long but I’m sure it will be several days at a minimum.

I’d love to know if NJAW got any FEMA funds from Irene last year and just what exactly they did with them.

8 Responses to “Complete Incompetence By New Jersey American Water Co”

  1. JeffS says:

    Well, it’s definitely a stupid decision to delay repairs for whatever reason. Not sure I can help, but here goes…..

    NJAW appears to be a privately operated utility, which probably means they might not have gotten funding. Depends on just state laws, FEMA rules, political influence, etc.

    Still, Monmouth County got a sweeping disaster declaration, but it’s hard to say from the Public Assistance and Hazards Mitigation spreadsheets if this site was included. Also, what name did they use on the application, if any?

    If you want to see the spreadsheets, click on “FEMA data feeds” on the right side at the above link, and scroll down to “Hazard Mitigation Program Summary” and “Public Assistance Funded Projects Summary”. You’ll want to download the spreadsheets (the “XLS” icon on the right. (And I hope your Excel sorting and filtering skills are good, because these are MASSIVE spreadsheets. Looks like an SQL data dump. Is Daughter good with spreadsheets? It would be a good way for her to hone her data manipulation skills.)

    Anywho, filter for Disaster Number 4021 (HURRICANE IRENE), and take a gander. I strongly suggest sorting by whatever field makes you comfortable.

    I found an entry for the “New Jersey Water Supply Authority”, but it’s for $182K, for 2 projects somewhere in the state. Might be what you’re looking for, or it might not be.

    If you’re really curious, you’ll have to contact the Monmouth Emergency Management office (disaster services? Emergency Services? The title varies widely) and ask them. That’s generally the arbiter for FEMA money. That or the state itself. Again, it varies.

    Or I can e-mail what I’ve done.

  2. tree hugging sister says:

    They invested the FEMA funds they got with Corzine schmaybe?

  3. Jim - PRS says:

    Well the project is damned well shovel-ready now.

  4. Dr Alice says:

    Bingley – JeffS’s suggestions sound great. With the info you might be able to collect, do you think Gov. Christie could be prodded to ask questions about this?

  5. Kathy Kinsley says:

    Oh good – and one of my co-workers is in NC under “heat warnings” and his electric just went out. (And he’s out in the boonies with a well, so no water either.) Don’t worry, he’s sane – he’s moving until it’s back up. (Along with the dog and cats.)
    I suspect the power is out because the utilities were more interested in funding perks and pensions (PP – childish – but you get the point?)

    And we call ourselves civilized…

  6. Mark says:

    This is how civilizations fall. Not from the barbarians at the gates, but the slow creep of “barbarism for no damn good reason”. Corruption or simple incompetence lead to this.

  7. Gary from Jersey says:

    Accurate information is getting hard to find but contradictions aren’t. The county tells my town to boil water and the police robo call yesterday said we don’t have to.

    Maybe the tourists can bring their own water. Monmouth County survives on tourism now that Fort Monmouth and related jobs disappeared and July 4 is a huge moneymaker.

  8. JeffS says:

    This is how civilizations fall.

    All too true, alas.

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