MapleWould Comes Clean on Safety & the Showering Situation

Forget about drinking water – most of US are in need of a good boil ‘bout now…

Dear MapleWould,

Not to sound like a wet blanket, but having to worry over water is driving me nuts. I’m well used to boiling the stuff by this point, but the 'bathing with diaper wipes' thing is getting old and the family’s getting grosser by the minute. Still, what’s coming out of our shower is still a tad brown, which makes me a tad nervous.

Is it really safe to shower?! Also - I know the town says we can shower at the pool, but isn't that the same situation when it comes to water?

-Ima Stinky

Dear Ima-

You're in good, if pungent, company. Talk about town these days seems rather shower-centric. This morning a group of gals at my gym debated stalling when it comes to embracing their stalls, too (though the sweating thing does makes it more of a pressing thing to ponder, I’ll admit!)

(Personally I’ve been mostly sponge bathing my wee ones and self - only because I don’t trust any of us to realistically refrain from somewhat imbibing shower sprays… My sparkling husband's been bathing at his Springfield gym so we’ve taken to embracing him more frequently if only refresh our memories as to the scent of fresh follicles...)

Official word from as of today’s alerts on the company site reiterates that Maplewood’s still under a ‘and specifies that customers “Do not swallow water while you are showering or bathing.” Still, that doesn’t exactly appease the health concern issue of inhaling shower steam, a concern voiced by several Maplewoodians to me today.

I spoke with company spokesperson Richard Barnes, who reiterated the guidelines put forth that customers not swallow water while bathing, showering or swimming in pools. As for inhaling the steam? "As long as the water is clear, the steam should not be an issue," he says.

For further help with our shared shower concerns I turned to our town's always insightful and informative , who, as usual, was a walking wealth of information and level headed advice:

“Showering is safe,” assures Roe. “Children should be instructed to not drink the shower or bath water, but if they do ingest some, it is almost certainly not going to make them sick.  Consider that we all swim in lakes, the ocean, and swimming pools and these waters all have microorganisms and we almost never become ill.”*

Mr. Roe also addressed questions about the Township’s offer to allow folks to use the Town Pool as a bathing facility:

“The water supply from the pool well is a good water source that we just use to fill the pools,” adds Roe. “However, it is not a licensed drinking water well, so we can not advertise it as such.  The shower water at the pool is from the public NJAW company water and is under the boil water advisory."

Mr. Roe also mentioned that NJAW will continue to distribute bottled drinking water at the Township pool lot during the Labor Day weekend and that residents without water or low water pressure are welcome to use the pools shower facilities over the weekend.

So there you have it! I hope that puts as many of you fears to rest as it did mine. Let’s hear it for SHOWER POWER! I, for one, look forward to losing the Eau de Irene scent in my household ASAP.


*Yup, ‘tis true. I grew up on a lake and, come to think of it, enjoyed a mostly amphibian upbringing with my siblings that often involved swimming all day in pond water and sleeping all night sans showering…and we all turned out somewhat fine!

Lauren Bright Pacheco September 01, 2011 at 07:43 PM
randg - I am so sorry. I'll do my best to get you an answer. Hang in there!
Lauren Bright Pacheco September 01, 2011 at 07:52 PM
Okay, randg - here you go: It may not be what you were hoping to hear, but as per NJAW spokesperson Richard Barnes: "While I can't give you a specific time as to when service will be restored there, we are very aware of the situation. The area is at an elevated level and we are currently working on getting water pressure restored."
Peggy Tornquist September 01, 2011 at 10:43 PM
I am on Garfield Place and I am not getting water on any level of my home. My neighbors have full pressure and are even watering their lawns. What's going on?
Alexandra Birnbaum September 01, 2011 at 11:45 PM
Thank you for the information! The steam thing never occurred to me...
I Sechzer September 02, 2011 at 12:01 AM
I have been showering but after shutting off the shower I have been rinsing off with boiled (cooled down) or potable water just to get the rest of the "pond? water off of me". I keep a gallon jug of "good" water for rinsing next to the shower and just reach out for it. I too spent my childhood summers on a lake, very much in that lake and ran around all day with lake water (plus seaweed) all over me for most of the summer. I turned out sorta normal.


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