TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Water authority to tap into alert system

About Chris Foreman
Picture Chris Foreman 412-856-7400 x8671
Staff Reporter
Penn-Trafford Star


By Chris Foreman

Published: Friday, July 11, 2008

The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County is preparing to implement an automated public notification system that would alert residents when there is a threat to their drinking water supplies.

The notification process, which authority Manager Chris Kerr estimates could cost about $100,000 annually, will be required by the state Department of Environmental Protection for all public water suppliers.

Gov. Ed Rendell directed the agency to improve notification procedures after a December 2005 fluoride spill at a York County treatment plant caused elevated levels in the water supply, but a "do not consume" advisory was not released to the media for almost two hours.

The acceptable notification systems include an automatic dialer that would call all customers in an affected region to deliver a recorded message.

Although the system could have some other benefits, Kerr called it an "unfunded mandate" imposed on the authority without requisite funds.

"There's no other way to recover costs but our rate base," he said Thursday.

Authority officials have been working with the Pennsylvania Rural Water Association to learn more about the system, said Joe Hohman, president of Resource Development and Management Inc., the authority's private manager.

Association officials are recommending that authorities choose a New Jersey company, Swiftreach, to set up their systems.

The Hampton Township Municipal Authority in Allegheny County decided Wednesday night to contract with Swiftreach, manager Sam Scarfone said.

Officials are working toward a January implementation for that system, he said.

"We wanted to get on board quickly," said Scarfone, a Pennsylvania Rural Water Association officer. "We believe it's going to catch on."

DEP officials are finalizing the parameters for the notification process.

An agency spokesman did not return a message yesterday requesting comment.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Westmoreland

  1. North Versailles, Murrysville families still waiting for report on 2011 chopper crash that killed couple
  2. Blaze damages Derry Twp. garage, apartment
  3. ‘We Are FR’ fund going strong
  4. Scottdale to reconsider use of complaint forms
  5. Retired postal worker picks $1M winner
  6. Police say Latrobe woman bought gun for boyfriend, who shot neighbor
  7. Hempfield Area superintendent, business manager quit
  8. Graziani hired away from Latrobe as Penn Township’s manager
  9. Murrysville woman sues Giant Eagle over burns
  10. Community turns out for Franklin Regional students’ return to class
  11. Police see no sign Franklin Regional stabbing suspect was bullied
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.