Serving Edison Homeowners Since 1994
Our grassroots, non-profit community group began in 1994 when South Edison homeowners got together to clean up a neighborhood eyesore.
Once that nuisance got resolved, these property owners began to find new ways to create a sustainable future for our community and to make positive changes throughout Edison Township, especially in South Edison.
Today, the South Edison Community Association is a group of “neighbors helping neighbors.”
We find and promote innovative, cost-efficient ways to make Edison Township an attractive, safer and healthier place to live.
We focus is environmental issues, neighborhood beautification projects, and sustainability
We assist in securing neighborhood grants for projects and we work with local public officials for the betterment of Edison.
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EDISON WATER UTILITY DRINKING WATER WARNING
E. coli is present in Edison Water Utility’s Water
BOIL YOUR WATER BEFORE USING
Our water system recently detected E. Coli in the water supply. As our customers, you have a right to know what happened and what we are doing to correct this situation. On October 1, 2020 we collected a sample from the distribution system. The sample tested positive for E. Coli.
These bacteria can make you sick and are especially a concern for people with weakened immune systems. Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source (for example, following heavy rains). It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system (pipes) or a failure in the water treatment process.
NOTE: This advisory is NOT related to COVID-19
The World Health Organization has stated that the, “presence of the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies and based on current evidence the risk to water supplies is low.” For additional information on COVID-19 and drinking water, you can refer to EPA’s website: https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-drinking-water-and-wastewater.
What should I do? What does this mean?
• DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
• *E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Human pathogens in these wastes can cause short-term effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a greater health risk for infants, young children, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems. *
• The symptoms above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice. People at increased risk should seek advice from their healthcare providers about drinking this water.
What is being done?
Edison Water Utility will be collecting the required repeat bacteriological samples to determine the presence of E. Coli in the distribution system We will inform you when tests show no bacteria are present and you no longer need to boil your water. Again, there are no indications that COVID-19 is in the drinking water supply or affects our reliable supply of water.
For more information, please contact Roger Freda or Bob Smith at (732) 248-6400. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by bacteria and other disease-causing organisms are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
*Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail. *
This notice is being sent to you by Edison Water Utility. PWSID#: 1205001. Date distributed: October 5, 2020.
South Edison Group Issues Scathing Critique Over Lack Of Information From Edison Water Utility
EDISON, NJ - The South Edison Community Association’s Water Watch Committee issued a scathing statement on Tuesday critiquing the Edison Water Authority over what the organization deemed non-cooperation with the organization’s efforts to collect “basic” information relating to the presence of E-coli in Edison’s water supply.
In early October, the Edison Water Utility disclosed the presence of E. coli in its water supply, leading to an announcement asking Edison Water Utility customers to boil their water prior to usage.
“Our water system recently detected E. Coli in the water supply,” announced the utility on Monday October 5. “As our customers, you have a right to know what happened and what we are doing to correct this situation. On October 1, 2020 we collected a sample from the distribution system. The sample tested positive for E. Coli,” said the utility at the time.
The boil advisory, which lasted for two days, was issued as a precautionary measure, according to the authority.
“The boil water advisory was put into effect for precautionary measures only as per the NJDEP requirements,” said the utility at the time in a message distributed through social media.
In its statement on Tuesday, Water Watch claimed that the director of Edison Township’s Water Utility said he was too busy to answer questions from, or meet with, the South Edison based organization that has raised concerns about Edison’s response to October’s bacterial contamination.
E. Coli can make individuals sick and its presence in the water supply is especially a concern for people with weakened immune systems. The presence of E. coli bacteria indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Human pathogens in these wastes can cause short-term effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a greater health risk for infants, young children, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.
In a letter to the Utility’s Director Robert Smith, dated October 8, Water Watch posed a series of questions to the water utility, asking for details regarding the agency’s efforts to timely notify customers.
Water Watch stated that the organization hasn’t yet received responses to its inquiries.
“That’s unacceptable,” said Water Watch chairperson Dawn Santana. “Our citizens’ group has tried for two months to get answers to a series of basic questions about the E.coli outbreak on Oct. 1. We want to know why Edison took four days to alert homeowners about this contamination and issue a boil-water advisory. A four-day delay poses an unnecessary health risk.”
According to Water Watch, Smith sent the organization an email denying a meeting with representative from the organization, stating “As you can imagine, we are quite busy building this utility from the ground up.”
Although Smith asked the group “to submit ideas” to “improve the EWU” the organization stated he did not answer the group’s questions or agree to meet with the Water Watch committee.
“It’s disturbing that we cannot get a meeting with Director Smith or get answers to reasonable questions about our drinking water or about the Water Utility’s procedures and practices,” Santana said. “We are asking for public information that Mr. Smith should be willing and able to share.”
The questions raised by the group include:
1. What company conducted the October 1 water test that found E. coli?
2. Where were those water samples taken (physical location)?
3. Were these water tests a scheduled interval test? Or were these water tests in response
to a health complaint?
4. Was the E. coli bacteria found near water main/water line break? Is that possibility being
5. What were the specific levels of E. coli found?
6. What day & date did Edison Township receive the test results?
7. Does the Water Utility have a written policy about emergencies?
8. Does that policy say how quickly the public must be informed about the presence of
contaminants in their drinking water?
9. Is Edison Township contacting area hospitals and private medical offices to learn if
more people are now seeking medical attention for exposure to, or health problems related to, E. coli bacteria? If not, why not?
10. Who is “in charge” in this type of emergency? Is it you? Or the OEM coordinator? Or the
Public Safety Director?
11. Was the testing done as a scheduled interval test or was this water test in response to
12. Has the township considered the financial impact to local business for loss of revenue and what will Edison township do to re-mediate their losses?
13. What additional procedures will Edison follow to be certain residents are notified in a timely manner in the future?
The Edison Water Utility operates the water service for approximately 12,000 South Edison residents and businesses, following a vote by the public to keep water operations in public control.
The Water Watch panel is also seeking information from the Utility about its progress making water and sewer main improvements; about several water main breaks earlier this year; and the status of overdue repairs at the Tingley Road pumping station.
The Tingley Road pumping station is “a big concern,” Santana said. Temporary bypass measures at that pumping station reportedly cost the Township nearly $2,000 per week since July 2019. “If that’s correct, it might be less expensive to replace that pumping station,” Santana said.
Smith did not return a request for comment on Water Watch’s statement.