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More Water Woes In Hoboken, Boil Water Advisory Remains In Effect

HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Water was sent spewing again in Hoboken on Friday, a day after two water main breaks prompted a boil water advisory, which remains in effect until further notice.

As crews finished repairs on a 30-inch water main that burst Thursday, there was a new leak in a pipe connected to a house on Park Avenue and 13th Street.

United Water officials said the 12-inch valve started leaking around 7 a.m. on Friday. The latest water emergency has been classified as a valve leak as opposed to a catastrophic break.

More Water Woes In Hoboken, Boil Water Advisory Remains In Effect

Resident Ben Gonzalez was walking along Park Avenue when he heard what he thought was a tire blowing.

"I heard like a pop, so I thought it was a tire from a car, but when I looked down I saw the water coming out and as I took another step I heard another pop," Gonzalez told CBS 2's Kathryn Brown.

He said he walked to Willow Avenue and 14th Street and alerted crews who had been working to repair the 30-inch main, 1010 WINS' Sandberg reported.

Hoboken Water Main Break
City officials said a contractor struck a 30-inch water main at a construction site at 14th Street and Willow Avenue in Hoboken on March 28, 2013. (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

United Water officials said they suspect Friday's leak was connected to Thursday's incidents.

Crews had to shut off 14 valves while making repairs and said that could have triggered what's known as a "hammer effect," leading to Friday's leak.

"You open and close valves maybe one or two times too many and the pressure changes too frequently and that could have caused the break," United Water spokesman Edmund DeVeaux said.

More Water Woes In Hoboken, Boil Water Advisory Remains In Effect

Water was shut off to the immediate area and road closures popped up during repairs, United Water officials said.

United Water's emergency team collected system-wide water quality samples early Friday afternoon in response to Thursday's second water main break.

United's water quality specialists were conducting lab tests to ensure the quality of the water. They said results would not be available until sometime Saturday and must be reported to and verified by the New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection.

"We understand that this main break has been a major inconvenience for residents of Hoboken," said Tom Neilan, director of operations for United Water. "We worked swiftly yesterday to restore full system pressure back to residents, to complete the repair to the water main this morning, and now we are concentrating on ensuring the quality of the water in the system."

Within two hours of Friday morning's leak, pavement around the valve began buckling, fueling fears of another sinkhole like the one caused by the first water main break which happened around 3 a.m. Thursday at 8th and Willow.

After the 12-inch pipe burst, it created a sinkhole that nearly swallowed a car and sent water, mud and muck gushing into the basements of row homes.

Hoboken Sinkhole
A car is swallowed by a sinkhole after a water main break in Hoboken, NJ on Thursday, March 28, 2013. (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

United Water officials blamed the first main break on aging infrastructure. Hours later, the 30-inch main was broken by a construction crew at 14th Street and Willow Avenue.

Officials said they do not believe Thursday's two breaks were related, Brown reported. United Water issued the boil water advisory after the breaks.

"Hoboken residents should boil their water for at least one minute for the following: drinking, cooking, or baking, making ice cubes, taking medication, brushing teeth, washing food, mixing baby formula or food, mixing juices or drinks, feeding pets, and all other consumption. Water does not have to be boiled for the following activities: showering, washing dishes or clothes," Neilan said.

Residents were also urged to stock up on bottled water and be prepared in case repairs created a domino effect sparking more breaks, Brown reported.

Crews will also need to repair roads that were damaged by the breaks. There was no word on when the boil water advisory would be lifted.

In the meantime, the city's mayor, Dawn Zimmer, said she planned to meet with United Water on Monday to make sure a plan is in place to prevent future water main breaks at construction sites, CBS 2's Derricke Dennis reported.

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