Erie County Water Authority takes questions from customers

Posted at 11:49 PM, Jul 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 14:25:16-04

The Erie County Water Authority held a telephone town hall with customers Monday to address some water concerns.

A hot topic among callers during the town hall was the boil water advisory that went out last week following the big water main break in Amherst.

"Do we have to boil water again?" one caller asked.

The answer according to the Water Authority is no. The Erie County Water Authority says even with the big leak, the boil water alert wasn't necessary, but was required by the Erie County Health Department.

"We do not put a boil water alert unless there is a sound reason for doing it," said Chairman of the Erie County Water Authority Earl Jann. "We didn't feel that was necessary at the time but complied with it."

The Erie County Water Authority, which is a private business, says there has only been one boil water alert in the past 10 years, and that was during the October surprise storm.

In the past six days, there have been more than a dozen water main breaks in Western New York. All along officials have been working to fix them.

But customers have been frustrated by the way repairs were being communicated to them.

"Will there be a system in place to give a robo call so that the public will know?" asked one caller.

"We have been looking at them (communication methods) and fully intend to implement them. We have been implementing all kinds of changes," said Jann.

The Water Authority says during Wednesday's water main break, their system was overloaded with calls. The website then shut down. Officials say they're planning on implementing a text alert system, and other communication methods to reach customers.

"We were unhappy that we couldn't notify as many people as we would have liked," he said.