New Jersey American Water is restoring water service to the barrier island communities in its service areas using a three-pronged approach that began as soon as crews could safely enter on the island following Hurricane Sandy. The company has divided the island into three zones: north (Bayhead), middle (Mantoloking to Lavalette), and south (Ortley Beach and Pelican Island), in order to better manage and accelerate the restoration effort. In the service areas south of Bayhead, approximately 9,000 customers have been notified that their accounts have been suspended pending completion of both customer and water system restoration work. Clearance from municipal wastewater agencies, confirming their system is ready to accept sanitary sewer flows, will also be required before reactivating water service. Customer water service lines are being isolated at the curb where possible but debris placement and other damage is hindering this effort in some areas. Customers are advised to shut off the main water service valve in their homes or businesses to prevent further damage or freeze up of plumbing. Water for fire protection is a priority and the Company is coordinating daily with local officials on this work. North Zone (Bayhead):
- With the exception of about 65 houses severely damaged by the storm, water service has been restored.
- In the storm damaged area water mains, hydrants and service lines are being replaced and this work is scheduled to be complete by early December.
- Water mains have water and pressure east and west of Route 35, as far south as Lyman Ave. (where the storm breached the island).
- Reconstruction of water mains on RT35 between Lyman & the Mantoloking Bridge is proceeding in coordination with road reconstruction and are estimated to be complete in mid-December.
- South of breached area water mains, services and hydrants in the side streets are being pressurized and checked for leaks in a systematic fashion with identified repairs documented and repair work scheduled.
- Assessment of side streets in the area is underway and numerous leaks and main breaks have been detected. Repair work is being planned and scheduled.
- The water mains on Pelican Island have water and pressure. Customer service lines have been shut off but hydrants are available for fire service.
- Replacement of about 4000' of water main on Bay Blvd. will begin on the first week of December, with estimated completion by end of the month. An additional 4000’ water main will be replaced on Ocean Ave. (Harding to 3rd.). The start date for this project has yet to be determined as the area is currently inaccessible.