Old Bridge MUA will have enough fuel in an event of another Superstorm Sandy

OLD BRIDGE — Due to the efforts of the Old Bridge Municipal Utilities Authority (OBMUA), the township will have enough fuel and water in the event another superstorm Sandy strikes.

Council Vice President Anita Greenberg-Belli, a commissioner on the OBMUA, informed the council and the public at a meeting on Oct. 8 of an emergency fuel storage facility project the MUA completed.

“The project included the construction of an emergency fuel storage facility and installation of two 10,000 gallon fuel storage tanks,” she said. “Also included were fuel pumps and a shed to house monitoring and safety equipment. This project provides the township with a guaranteed flow of safe drinking water, the quality which exceeds state and federal safety standards.”

Greenberg-Belli said the project is an example of the MUA’s effort to upgrade and expand the system as needed to ensure a more than adequate water supply at the lowest possible cost.

“[The township] will have fuel available at anytime now and at a time of an emergency,” she said, noting the facility located in the municipal complex by the road department will allow for access throughout the township.

The OBMUA received $1.39 million in water bank loans, which is an estimated savings to the rate payers of $597,000, Greenberg-Belli said.

“During Sandy [in 2012], the average resident was without electricity for possibly 10 to 14 days,” she said. “But because of the work of the employees of the MUA, everyone had water and everyone was allowed to flush their toilets without any problem. For our pump fuel stations, a lot of our workers actually went down as far as Delaware to get fuel to keep those pump stations functioning.”

Greenberg-Belli said she wanted to thank the wisdom of the MUA for moving forward and getting the project done.

“We don’t have to be in fear ever again if we had a catastrophe and [fear] of our system shutting down,” she said.

Ward 5 Councilman Tony Paskitti said the MUA has done an outstanding job. He said on Twitter, the MUA keeps the public apprised of water main breaks.

“These guys are out 24/7 repairing [the water main breaks] within three to four hours, it’s amazing,” he said.

Ward 6 Councilman John Murphy, who is also a commissioner on the OBMUA, said he would like to echo the sentiments of Greenberg-Belli.

“During Sandy, I got a call from the [MUA] engineer [informing] we have one day of fuel left,” he recalled, noting he was a consultant for the MUA at the time.

Old Bridge needed water badly; however, more fuel would be coming to the area from Illinois in three days. Through teamwork of the MUA and the township, they were able to get three tank fulls  — 27,000 gallons — of water from Middlesex Water Company.

The Old Bridge MUA mission is to provide continuous supply of safe drinking water and the efficient removal of all sanitary wast water. Murphy said Michael Roy, MUA engineer, and Guy Donatelli, MUA executive director, do a great job running the authority.