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School Water Not Safe to Use After Water Main Break

by Christina Urban

A sign posted outside of Panzer Athletic Center warning students not to drink the water from fountains until it is tested for safety.
Therese Sheridan | The Montclarion


On Wednesday, Nov. 1, the Montclair Water Bureau removed their boil water advisory, which was created after a water main break that affected the community’s water. Since the advisory went out Monday morning, students, faculty and staff could not consume Montclair State University’s tap water without boiling it first.

The university administration sent an email telling students to run their water for three to five minutes before use.


Montclair State University administration sent out a boil water advisory this morning after two water mains at the intersection of North Mountain Avenue and Van Vleck Street were damaged on Sunday night. The break potentially affects the school’s water and as a precaution, resident students will have to boil water for safety prior to use.

After repairs are made to the water main, the water will be tested and it will take 24 hours to see if it is safe to use again. The email advises students to boil water for one minute when using it for drinking, preparing foods, washing vegetables and fruits, cooking, making ice cubes, taking medications, brushing teeth and mixing baby formula, food, juices or drinks.

The email also recommends that students throw away anything consumable that was made with the tap water on the day of advisory, keep boiled water in the fridge to drink and avoid swallowing water while showering or bathing.

They should also rinse hand-washed dishes with a diluted bleach solution or clean them in a dishwasher using the hot wash cycle and dry cycle. It is important to note that using filters in place of boiling water or using bottled water will not provide adequate protection from micro-organisms.

Junior animation major Mia Rico dorms in The Village and typically uses a Brita filter for her water. Other than boiling water, she said she has no way to get water unless she walks all the way to campus for bottled water.

Dr. Karen Pennington, vice president for Student Development and Campus Life, said bottled water was delivered to all of Montclair State’s dorms to help keep students hydrated.

“I came prepared,” said Rosa More, a freshman living in Bohn Hall. “I ran out of water so my mom just brought water bottles.”

More had not checked her email prior to receiving the water so she was not aware of the advisory.

According to Resident Life Customer Service Specialist AJ Primavera, a campus-wide alert was sent at 7:03 a.m. to those who have the school’s emergency system app, Rave, in addition to the Red Hawk News email that was sent.

Freshman commuter student Noor Dastagiv said he heard someone say that people can’t drink the Montclair water because it’s not healthy at this time.



The soda fountains in the Student Center were out of order due to the water main break leaving students with only bottled drinks to purchase with their meals.
Alexandra Clark | The Montclarion

Posters are being made for all dorms and buildings that may be immediately affected. Signs telling students not to drink the water have been placed on all water fountains around campus.

Vice President for University Facilities Shawn Connolly was unavailable for comment.

The boil water advisory will be in effect on campus until further notice. Students will be updated when it is safe to use the water again.

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