Legislators call for hearing with Erie County Water Authority

Posted at 7:04 PM, Jul 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-25 19:04:54-04

The boil water notice for several north towns was lifted over the weekend, but the Erie County Water Authority (ECWA) didn't get any relief from water main breaks.  11 breaks were reported across Western New York Sunday morning and another two happened Monday afternoon.  Two Erie County legislators are looking for answers after all these water troubles.

Legislator Ted Morton says the distribution of information following last week's Amherst water main break revealed some issues.  That break on Wednesday night resulted in the boil water notice for several towns in Erie County.

"When you're talking about 200, 250 thousand people on these major breaks, there has to be a system in place where people are notified much quicker," he said.

Morton was surprised to hear from so many people who did not know what was happening with their water during the major break in Amherst.

"In today's era of instant communication, if there is contaminated water flowing through someone's faucets, 24 hours is far too long," he said, referring to what he described as a law that only requires notification from the ECWA within 24 hours.

"Whether it is through the media, texts, Facebook or social media, people have to know much quicker than the 8 to 9 to 10 hours it was last Wednesday," he explained.

Morton wants a public hearing with the ECWA to address these concerns, and concerns about the county's aging water lines.

Legislator Patrick Burke is also calling for a hearing with the ECWA.  There is no hearing scheduled yet, but the legislators are aiming to set a time in early August.