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The original item was published from 8/16/2018 5:26:13 AM to 8/16/2018 10:05:40 AM.

News Flash


Posted on: July 26, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Town Hall Water Supply Update

UPDATE: 8/15/2018 5 a.m.  


WEST ORANGE, N.J (Office of Public Information) Aug. 15, 2018 – West Orange is working to eliminate the Legionella bacteria found in a number of municipal facilities. While much of the contamination has been remediated, work still needs to be done on several facilities.

“On August 13, 2018, Mayor Robert D. Parisi, Township of West Orange, reported that the additional proactive test results on the internal plumbing in 17 other Municipal buildings have been received.  We are pleased to report that the West Orange Public Library is completely safe and has no levels of Legionella in its water supply. This applies to 10 of the other Municipal buildings. However, the test

results reveal that Lafayette Park, O’Connor Park, Fire Headquarters, Firehouse No. 2, Firehouse No. 4 and the Police Headquarters do contain certain elevated levels of Legionella. As a result, we have immediately shut down the internal plumbing at those locations and are implementing the same remedial steps which have been taken concerning the West Orange Municipal Building. This means filters will be

installed, bottled water made available immediately, and all plumbing flushed to eliminate any bacteria. We have been advised by expert consultants including New Jersey American Water that these steps will fully remedy the current situation.”

New Jersey American Water Co. Statement:

“Providing safe water is New Jersey American Water’s number one priority and a responsibility we share with all our customers. Although the drinking water we deliver is treated and meets all federal and state water quality standards and requirements, the quality of that water can change once it leaves our pipes and enters domestic plumbing systems. When we became aware of the issues the Township of West Orange experienced with legionella in the plumbing infrastructure of its Municipal Township Building, we began proactively working with Mayor Parisi, his staff, health officials and town consultants to provide expert guidance and assistance as the town works to remedy this situation. We are committed to helping

the Township resolve this issue as they work to disinfect and upgrade their building systems to ensure a healthy and safe work environment for their employees.”

Kevin Watsey

Vice President – Government Affairs

New Jersey American Water Association

(856) 782-2373

For more information, visit the town website, and look under Civic Alerts. For information on legionella, visit the Water Quality page on our website,

For further information, please contact Susan Anderson at or

(973) 325-4133.

UPDATE: 8/14/2018 9:45 am

Message from Township of West Orange Health Department and Administration

All sinks in Township Hall will be out of order today 8/14 until the end of business on Wednesday 8/15.Please do not attempt to turn on any sink or water fountain. Bottled water and Purell are available for hand washing. All toilets will remain operational throughout this time.

UPDATE 8/7/2018 12:15 pm: Please be advised that on Tuesday August 14, 2018 and Wednesday August 15, 2018 the potable water supply in Town Hall will be shut down for remedial action. Toilets will be operational and bottled water and Purell will provided in the restrooms for handwashing and sanitizing. Drinking water is available at the water coolers on the first and second floor.

UPDATE 7/27/2018  11 am

Town Hall Water Supply Remediated: This is an update as to the status of our remedial actions concerning the Municipal Township Building water supply.   Specifically, last night an environmental company installed hospital approved filters on all public water sources at the Municipal Building.  

According to outside medical experts, the public water supply is now fully safe for use and consumption.

As to all other West Orange municipally-owned public buildings, testing will begin next week.   “No information exists that any other buildings are subject to the bacteria, but, as a precaution, the Township is testing our other Township owned facilities,” reported Mayor Robert Parisi.   Test results are expected to take approximately two weeks and will be made available to the public.  “In the meantime, the following facts exists with regard to Legionella:  (a) it is not contagious, person to person; (b) it is not airborne; (c) it cannot be contracted by drinking or touching water; and (d) the way it is contracted is by inhaling contaminated water mist,”  Director of Health Theresa DeNova stated.


(Office of Public Information) July 26, 2018 2:17 pm --  A long-time township employee was recently hospitalized with a case of Legionnaire’s Disease.  As a result,  the township immediately engaged a certified outside environmental company to test water sources for two buildings where the employee had worked to determine if either had potentially unsafe levels of legionella bacteria.

The illness took place approximately two weeks ago. Today, those test results determined that five of the 10 samples in the municipal building have elevated levels of the bacteria.  The potable water supply has been disconnected and remedial steps are being implemented on an immediate basis. It is not proven that the employee actually contracted the illness from any municipal building. Another municipal building where the same employee worked was also tested and results were negative. Regardless, the township is moving forward to test its other buildings.

“We are pleased that the employee is making a recovery and are implementing all remedial steps to eliminate the bacteria in question,” said John K. Sayers, Business Administrator.  

Mayor Robert D. Parisi stated: “The Township is giving this health issue the importance and attention it demands.   We have been assured by outside consultants and experts that by shutting down the potable water supply, installing filters which are being delivered today, replacing the hot water heater which has already been disconnected and making plumbing repairs that the conditions will be remedied and safe.   We will insure that all prescribed remedies are in place as quickly as possible.”

Legionnaire’s disease is a severe form of pneumonia, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s caused by the bacterium, Legionella pneumophila and found in potable and nonpotable water systems.

For questions or more information, contact the West Orange Health Department at 973-325-4120 or email

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