Water Main, Electrical Pipe Breaks Create Hazmat Situation in New Jersey - NBC New York

Water Main, Electrical Pipe Breaks Create Hazmat Situation in New Jersey

Authorities are telling residents to avoid any contact with the oily mixture



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    Fire authorities and utility crews are working to contain a potentially hazardous mixture that bubbled up in some streets in a New Jersey town after a water main and an underground electrical pipe containing mineral oil broke Tuesday morning. 

    John Mauthe, fire chief in Bergen County's River Edge, said the mineral oil is used to cool the electrical pipe, which transmits more than 200,000 volts of electricity between substations.

    When that pipe broke, the mineral oil combined with the water spilling from the broken water main to send a hazardous ooze up into the streets, Mauthe said.

    Crews are using sand and dirt to soak up the oily mix and authorities urge residents to avoid the liquid in the streets. Mauthe said most of the mixture was contained to the streets, but some did seep into the sewers.

    Some roads were blocked off Tuesday morning and authorities said they may remain closed throughout the day as hazmat teams assess the scene and Department of Public Works crews repair the pipes. 

    No homes were evacuated. Only one home was impacted by the water main break, a utility official said.

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