BROCTON Water customers across the Town of Portland may have been accidentally called by an automatically dialed alert system from the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and Chautauqua County's Department of Emergency Management on Friday.
Portland Town Supervisor Dan Schrantz assures all water customers in Portland, that the notice was intended to be given strictly to Water District 2 customers, which also encompasses Greencrest and Van Buren water users.
A courtesy service sponsored by the DOH, NY Alert's emergency alert system message asks customers in the affected area to operate on a boil water alert as of Friday at 4:23 p.m. and expiring Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 4:22 a.m.
"The source of the alert was a failed chlorination test from water from the City of Dunkirk, and the boil water alert is expected to last all weekend," stated Schrantz.
Portland's water maintenance worker, Drew Smith will be responding to the test results by adding chlorination to water consumed by District 2's customers to raise the chlorine residual level back to adequate standards. Once this is completed, explained the supervisor, a retest can be administered to determine if the alert can be expired.
"We are aware of the issue and are working to resolve it, unfortunately, the system dialed everyone in that surrounding area instead of strictly Water District 2's customers. This is actually the first time I have seen this alert system used for one of our water districts," he added.
The official website for NY Alert asks residential customers who receive water in District 2 to, "bring tap water to a rolling boil, boil for one minute, and cool before using. Or use bottled water certified for sale by the New York State Department of Health. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth, and preparing food until further notice." Schrantz reiterates that the emergency is expected to last throughout the weekend and asks water customers to be patient while a resolution is being worked on.
More detailed information can be obtained about boil water emergencies by visiting the Chautauqua County Department of Health's official website, www.co.chautauqua.ny.us. That website lists completely answered frequently asked questions for homeowners and residents.