Water main break at Cranford intersection quickly repaired

Photo Courtesy of Patrick Giblin
A water main break Sunday, Nov. 12, at the intersection of East North and Elizabeth avenues in Cranford disrupted traffic for about 24 hours.

CRANFORD, NJ — A water main break early in the morning of Sunday, Nov. 12, flooded the busy intersection of East North and Elizabeth avenues in Cranford, but the road was reopened to traffic in time for the Monday morning commute, according to police Chief Ryan Greco.
Greco told LocalSource on Nov. 12 that crews worked around the clock to repair the leak before the Monday rush hour.

There was a fissure in a 12-inch valve, which was replaced with a 16-inch valve, New Jersey American Water spokeswoman Denise Free told LocalSource on Monday, Nov. 13.

She said it is hard to pinpoint exactly why this break occurred, but they typically happen for variety of reasons that are seasonal and common to the fluctuation in temperatures, in which freezing and thawing take place.

Free told LocalSource that all pipes have a life span and as infrastructure ages, breaks can occur. Additionally, pipes are subjected to shifting or settling soil, which also causes breaks, she said.

No one lost water until it had to be shut off to replace the valve.
“There could have been 160 customers without water, but they kept the water going for everybody,” she said.
When New Jersey American Water did replace the valve, only two out of five commercial businesses were affected; they were provided with bottled water.

When LocalSource inquired how often this happens, Free answered that she can’t remember the last time it had occurred in Cranford.
Cranford patrol units responded shortly after 6.a.m on Nov. 12, Greco said.

“New Jersey American Water was able to contain the break to a few businesses and residences on North Avenue by installing an additional shut off in the area of North Avenue in the area of John Street,” Greco added.

The Cranford Police Department, Office of Emergency Management, Fire Department, New Jersey Department of Transportation, New Jersey American Water and township officials worked in conjunction to get word out regarding the leak, and Cranford police established a detour to exit and enter the Garden State Parkway.

Under the guidance of The New Jersey American Water, Greco noted there was no reason to have residents boil water, although the water pressure may have been lower than usual.