Kym Gable reporting

WESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) – The break in a filtration system was just the start of the problems for the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County last month.

What followed was a four-day boil advisory due to the potential for contamination. It affected 50,000 households.

And now, the DEP says when the authority notified customers, it didn’t include some important information.

“The regulations require a tier one notification include the contents of the contaminant the potential health effects if that is ingested by human beings,” said DEP spokesman John Poister.

And that’s what was missing. The citation has nothing to do with all that confusion with the telephone alert system and which municipalities were affected.

“And it also doesn’t have anything to do with their response to the actual problem, which they did very well by our guidelines, they handled everything in terms of the chlorination and cleaning out of the system, they did that right by the book,” he said.

The authority is managed by resource development and management which told KDKA:

“They did indicate they had concerns over website notifications, that it did not explain to customers the possible bacteria in the water, which there was none. We were told the fine is up to $5,000.”

Even though the DEP doesn’t oversee the method used to alert customers, Poister says the Municipal Authority is implementing new guidelines so a glitch like that doesn’t happen again.


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