The Borough of Red Bank has learned that a small number of water customers have been experiencing water discoloration. The discoloration is a result of iron that was agitated in the water supply. While the appearance was alarming, testing confirmed the safety of the water was not jeopardized. These events typically occur during hydrant flushing or testing when large amounts of flow in the water system agitate sediment in the pipes. This routinely occurs semi-annually when the Borough changes the water supply between the Red Bank system and New Jersey American Water system. Our staff opens fire hydrant valves to allow water to flow through the pipes. Systematically opening the hydrants enhances water quality by flushing sediment from the main line pipes, verifies the proper operation of hydrants and valves, and ensures that the hydrant is operational in case of a fire emergency. While this discoloration episode may be related to the changeover, the changeover should not have caused this type of incident since the Borough has not yet done the regular flushing.
On Friday, the Borough learned afterwards that a fire suppression system test was performed by a private development on their property and it is believed to be a contributing factor to this minor discoloration episode. The Borough had no way of knowing what area(s) of Red Bank were affected (other than through the reports that trickled in by email, telephone, or the website). For most customers that had discoloration, the problem was not persisting beyond Friday evening except for those who did not run enough water through their system.
Residents are reminded that social media (Facebook, NextDoor, etc.) is not monitored and posting on forums/groups is not an effective or reliable way to notify the Borough of any concerns. Water customers are advised to contact the Borough of Red Bank Water Utility by calling (732-530-2770) or submitting a request through the Borough website “Citizen Request Tracker” (https://www.redbanknj.org/requesttracker.aspx). Only by notifying the Borough through these official channels can we monitor and track reports.
When the Borough does flushing or performs tests that we expect may agitate the water supply, we post announcements on the website in advance to advise water customers of what to expect. Had the Water Utility known about this private test beforehand, we may have been able to mitigate the effects and/or properly notify the public in advance. Borough of Red Bank Water Utility staff are scheduled to begin water flushing later this week. This may cause additional discoloration throughout the Borough. If you see discolored water, it is recommended that you run the water (from a tub or hose) until it is clear. Additional notices will be published.
The Borough of Red Bank is committed to ensuring the public is informed and receives timely notices, especially in the event of emergencies. For more information about our Community Alert System and to sign up, visit http://www.redbanknj.org/247/Community-Alerts