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Gloucester City's Brown Water; MEC School Historical Plaque Honoring Soldiers Corroding

CNB Tips and Snippets:/8-27-18 UPDATED/8-28-18 UPDATED 


William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet 

Photo0image provided by Gloucester City resident


BROWN WATER--We have received several complaints this month from Gloucester City residents about the brown color of their drinking water. One individual living on Paul Street sent us the photo above showing the brown water coming out of their spigots last week.  This problem comes up whenever the city water department flushes the hydrants.

A few years back the city upgraded the water department spending $20 million on those improvements. The city has floated numerous bonds to improve the outdated infrastructure.

Back in the day, the city water department would notify residents via a flyer about the hydrants being flushed in their neighborhood. The waterworks employees would hand deliver the flyers to each resident's home.  By doing so the public would know not to wash their clothes during this period. Plus the notification gave residents a heads up so they could buy bottled water if they so desired during this time. That practice is no longer in effect.


We could not find any type of notice pertaining to the hydrants being flushed on the city's website.

Monday, August 27, 2018, we sent an email with the above photo to Eric Fooder, the city's Director of Utilities. We asked him if the water was safe to drink? We also asked how does the water department alert residents about the hydrants being flushed? We wanted to know why the water department stopped notifying residents with a hand flyer about the flushing of hydrants in their neighborhood. As of today, we are still waiting for a response.

The city's brown water made the headlines of a daily newspaper in January following the two-alarm fire that destroyed a restaurant on Jersey Avenue.

Fooder was asked at the time if the brown tea like water was safe to drink. His answer was "Absolutely".  He said the discoloration is caused by iron. "Before you reach the posted limit of (iron) in water, it does look like 'tea water,'" the director said. 

In that interview, Fooder said the department directs residents to flush water in the homes. If the water does not run clear within 15 minutes, residents should contact the water department. 

For those who have a question or a complaint you can contact Fooder at the emergency number, 856-456-0169 or by email


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EDITOR'S NOTE: We have received a email from a resident stating the brown water problem has been continuous since the first of January. We want to hear from anyone else who has had a continuous problem with their water. Please email


Screen Shot 2018-08-15 at 10.37.15CNBNews photo

Because bronze is a copper alloy, time and weather conditions cause bronze plaques to become dull and eventually form a green patina on the surface. While some people like the look of an aged bronze plaque, many would prefer to keep it looking the way it did on the day it was purchased.  A simple cleaning process can refurbish the plaque to restore its like-new finish.  Using a few simple materials, you can keep the plaque looking great for many years. (SEE MORE)

WORLD WAR 1 PLAQUE HONORS STUDENTS--Although the Mary Ethel Costello School, 520
Cumberland Street, Gloucester City has been empty for over a year the historical plaque placed decades ago to honor soldiers who fought and died in  World War I that were students at the school remains on the front of the building. Over the years this historical bronze plaque, with little or no care, has started to corrode. According to information found on the internet, bronze is a substance that has been used to make tools, weapons, coins and artwork for thousands of years. Though bronze can last indefinitely, it is prone to corrosion, or deterioration, of the metal through exposure to harmful chemicals. If it is severe, corrosion can potentially destroy a bronze item.

Screen Shot 2018-08-27 at 22.7.00The historic plaque is located by the door entrance of the empty MEC school building. In this photo it appears on the left side of the entrance. (CNBNews photo)

 Over time, plaques — even those cast from bronze — require repair and refinishing. Due to the historical value, as well as the financial worth of many of these markers, the importance of plaque refinishing cannot be emphasized enough. It restores your marker to its previous appearance and protects it from the weather and elements once more. 


EDITOR'S NOTE: As you can see the names on the plaque are hard to read. We did our best to decipher those names and have listed them below. Hopefully, the Gloucester City Historical Society or the Gloucester City High School Alumni will spend the money to repair the plaque. So many other historical items and historical buildings in our city have either gone missing or have been demolished. With luck,  now that people have been made aware of the plaque something will be done with it.


Capt. Fisk Thompson

Capt. George P. Meyer

Lieut. Henry M. Evans

Cadet AV.  C. Richard Allen

Sergt. Albert Atkinson

Sergt. Joseph O. Etherington

Sergt. L. Wm. Freyburger, Jr.

Sergt. Walter D. Snuffin

Corp. Harry C. Lloyd

Corp. Harry L. Patton

Ch. Mech Robert G. Thompson

Mech. Howard O. Evans

William C. Dannenhauer

D. Earl Albertson

Franklin Hughes

Robert B. Luker

Raymond Maguire

Frank Powell

Edward Rider

Albert J. Taylor

Donald Thompson

Rufus B. Thompson

Robert Trezise

Jacob Uibel

Mary Barkham - Army Nurse Ops.


Capt. Thurston J. Davies

Corp. Robert Hetherington


George A. Gieseke

Elec. 2nd Cl. John Warfield

UPDATED: AUGUST 28, 2018--The plaque honoring the World War I veterans who attended the Mary Ethel Costello School has been removed. The bottom photo shows the empty space where it was displayed for decades. We don't know who has it but we will continue to investigate to find out that information.


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