Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla is calling the recent spate of water main breaks in Hoboken “unacceptable. There have been 14 over a 64-day period, with two breaks Monday. Bhalla is alleging Suez, the company that operates the Hoboken water system, has mismanaged it, citing a new water meter the company recently installed that he believes put strain on the city’s aging water infrastructure and led to the breaks.
“The disruption of service, risk to life and property from random and unpredictable water main breaks, and traffic nightmares are threatening the safety and undermining the welfare of everyone in Hoboken. We cannot and will not tolerate this any longer,” said the mayor.
Bhalla says the city will declare an emergency to investigate the cause of the water main breaks and plans to file suit against Suez based on the findings.
A spokesperson for Suez responded in a statement, saying the city is responsible for its aging water infrastructure, some of which is over a century old.
“Unless Mayor Bhalla stops pointing fingers and starts investing in the system the problems residents are facing will continue to get worse, not better,” the statement read. “We hope that the City of Hoboken will work with us in this effort instead of pursuing an unnecessary lawsuit that will only burden the city’s taxpayers while doing nothing to invest in the city’s infrastructure.”
Bhalla says the city will begin the process of replacing Suez with a new water system operator in September.