Police & Fire

Extreme Cold Causes 7 Water Main Breaks in Cranford in 1 Week

A water main break in Cranford earlier this year. Credits: TAPinto Photo Archive

WESTFIELD, NJ – Seven water main breaks were reported in Cranford between Jan. 1 and Jan. 8, according to New Jersey American Water.

The number is well above average for the town, according to Denise Venuti Free, director of communications and external affairs for NJ American Water. The breaks are caused by freezing temperatures, she said.

“For January, our average number of water main breaks per day is typically eight statewide,” Venuti Free said. “Of course, that number is determined from years when we have more and years when we have less.”

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Right now, the average number of statewide breaks per day is between 12 and 18, Venuti Free added. That number includes all the water main breaks throughout 191 towns in 19 counties.

“We’re definitely above average for main breaks and service line issues,” she said. “This is typical when we have these kinds of temperatures and we’re working as fast as possible to resolve these issues.”

The number of breaks per town is also affected by the size of the town. In comparison, Westfield has experienced 15 water main breaks during the same time frame. Kenilworth experienced two.

“Westfield is the largest of these towns, so the number is relative to the size,” Venuti Free said.

New Jersey American Water sent out an alert last week warning customers that a high volume of water mains broke due to the severe cold. The message was also posted on their website:

New Jersey American Water recently launched the following phone message to all customers, "Due to the severe cold, we have experienced a high volume of water main breaks. You are receiving this message because you reside in an area affected by water main breaks, though you may or may not be personally affected. We are addressing each break as quickly and safely as we can. We are unable to give an ETA on repairs at this time. Thank you for your patience and understanding."

Please know that if you are directly impacted by a main break in your area you will be receiving a notification on that specific event. The purpose for the call was to let customers know we have an increase number of main breaks throughout our service areas due to the weather we are experiencing. Our hard-working, dedicated employees have been working around the clock to make sure these main breaks are repaired as quickly and safely as possible. 

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