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Squan Considers More Water Woe Fixes

Boro administrator says flushing home systems could be next step

Unable for months to stop iron particles from discoloring tap water in the Willow Way section of town, Manasquan officials on Monday suggested implementing a home flushing program to bring iron levels down to more appetizing levels. 

Borough Administrator Joe DeIorio said that the final report from water experts Black & Veatch was currently being withheld from the public due to contractual issues, but offered the council a water quality analysis by the firm dated Aug. 8. 

The report touches on few details borough officials haven't already spent two months explaining, including the source of and proposed remedy to the problem. 

DeIorio's latest update however introduced for the first time in council chambers the possibility that several residents still experience discolored and odorous water could be asked to flush their own house water lines by running their faucets and hot water heaters. 

But while some residents have waited roughly six months for the borough to clear up the problem, DeIorio on Monday said iron readings have been dropping over time. 

And before officials can implement what they consider the best fix -- directional flushing of the affected area -- fickle pH numbers at the borough's new water treatment plant will have to remain consistently at a desired level for weeks.

Since the plant came on-line in May, fluctuating pH levels in the water caused hardened iron buildup lining the inside of the water pipes to soften and eventually begin bleeding into the system, officials have said. 

The borough has the option of applying to the Department of Environmental Protection to use a chemical, orthophosphate, to speed up the iron solidification process, but that remedy, officials say, has a few downsides. 

In addition to added annual costs tied to the chemical, the process is irreversable, Council President Ed Donovan said. 

“It’s not something that you would use as a short term fix to the problem,” Donovan said. 


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