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Dolphin Debacle: Ortley Residents Upset Over Water Company Logo on Tower

Water company: Ortley tower one of a dozen out of 200 to have its own logo

New Jersey American Water Company's logo on the south side of the Ortley Beach water tower. (Photo: Facebook/Ortley Strong)
New Jersey American Water Company's logo on the south side of the Ortley Beach water tower. (Photo: Facebook/Ortley Strong)
When Ortley Beach residents spotted an outline of the familiar jumping dolphin being painted onto the water tower in their neighborhood last Saturday, many breathed a sigh of relief that one of the familiar scenes in a changing section of town would be there to stay.

But days later, many noticed the familiar jumping dolphins and "Ortley Beach" lettering inscribed on the side of the water tower would only be visible from the north. On the south side of the tower, New Jersey American Water Company eschewed the mirror image of the dolphins and neighborhood name in favor of its corporate logo.

Residents quickly let the company know what they thought of the change on their Facebook page, as well as on the Ortley Strong Facebook page, which was created in the wake of Susperstorm Sandy, which particularly devastated Ortley Beach. In recent days, the water tower issue has led to the creation of a page dedicated to the dolphins.

"No other water tower in the area has a 'company' name on it, why does ours?" asked Stacie Varanelli.

"We all know where we get our water from – we pay the bill!" said Michelle Wunderlich Aromando.

"What purpose does their logo serve? A lot less than the pride [the dolphins] would have given to those of us who live here. Epic fail," said Erika Desimone.

Peter Esbach, a company spokesman, said he and others at New Jersey American Water are aware of residents' sentiments, but Ortley's tower is still unique.

"The dolphins were, as I understand it, originally put up by the town around 1993 prior to our acquisition of the system," he said. "As an important part of our infrastructure, the tower was due for extensive maintenance, and this was scheduled as we totally rebuilt the area's water infrastructure following Sandy," at a cost of about $4 million.

Of New Jersey American's approximately 200 water towers in the state, the Ortley tower is one of less than a dozen to have anything else written on it except the company logo against a white background, Esbach said.

"We know that the dolphins on the tank had become somewhat identifiable with the community, and in recognition for what the community has endured recovering from Sandy, we elected to put the dolphins back up during what was an about $700,000 rehabilitation project on the tank," Esbach told Toms River Patch. "While some members of the local area may be disappointed that we didn't put the dolphins on both sides, we hope they understand that our logo represents the thousands of hours our employees put in, starting the morning after Sandy, to totally rebuild the local water system that had been essentially destroyed by the storm, ensuring that Ortley Beach, and the other barrier island communities have the water they need to continue their recovery."

So while Ortley Beach is down by two dolphins, recovery – with a rebuilt water system – continues.
Mark June 21, 2014 at 06:28 PM
I think they should draw a picture of our Mayor & Ward 1 Councilwoman !
fed up June 21, 2014 at 08:34 PM
I think they should replace the dolphins with screws at this point.
Ortley Joe June 22, 2014 at 09:40 PM
now if they can filter the water so it don't taste like crap
Brandy the Dog June 23, 2014 at 01:38 AM
Most appropriate would be an image of of the Pope in his papal bennie chime walking access the "TOWER"."
ruby lande June 28, 2014 at 10:26 AM
This is a heart breaker, we have endured so much! If they insisted on their logo it could have been with the dolphins and the words Ortley Beach. What can we do to make then correct this? It is embarrassing all the other water towers have the name of the town!!!! Our town is not called American Water!!!!! It is Ortley Beach!!!!!! Yet another example of a town forgotten by th media and politicians and the water company.


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