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Parts Of New Jersey Remain Under Boil Water Advisory 6 Weeks After Ida

NEW JERSEY (CBSNewYork) -- Parts of Passaic County remain under a boil water advisory six weeks after the remnants of Hurricane Ida hit the area.

Residents dealing with the unsafe water want to know why it hasn't been fixed yet, CBS2's Meg Baker reported Thursday.

Nicarly Minaya pulled up to Grace Church in Clifton to pick up bottled water and other necessities after being hit hard by the flood.

"It's been horrible," said Minaya, who has four children at home. "The constant water boiling is hard, especially for the shower. I have to do it like five, six times."

The Passaic Valley Water Commission said all residents in Paterson and Passaic and some in Clifton and Woodland Park should continue boiling their water. It amounts to about 250,000 customers.

"I know it's posed a hardship for some families. However, it'd be worse if they were drinking contaminated water," said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh. "We have drinking water distribution sites and we also are partnering with supermarkets to make sure that people have access to clean and safe water."

The flash flooding caused water runoff to overflow into the New Street Reservoir, contaminating 52 million gallons of water.

A water sampling team was on site Thursday filling test jars up.

"We anticipate to be lifting the boil water some time next week, like next Thursday," said Louis Amodio, interim business administrator with the Passaic Valley Water Commission.

The water commission will continue flushing the system through the weekend, then start testing next week.

Passaic Valley Water Commission operates three of six remaining open water reservoirs in the country. Amodio said an upgrade is greatly needed to reduce contamination risks.

"The long-term remediation plan is to encapsulate these reservoirs," he said.

It's a $100 million proposal.

Residents, for now, are still being billed for the water they have to boil. When asked about possible discounts on their bills, Amodio said, "We're working on it."

The cleanup from Ida is expected to cost the water commission more than $3 million. More than $1.7 million worth of bottled water has been given out so far.

CBS2's Meg Baker contributed to this report.

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