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Legislator seeks answers on drinking water problems

Published On: May 22 2014 04:14:52 PM EDT   Updated On: May 22 2014 04:24:33 PM EDT
Water faucet

Ferre' Dollar/CNN


Pennsylvania American Water Company has failed to deliver safe, clean drinking water to thousands of Montgomery County customers this week, charged state Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery).

Vereb wants answers on behalf of those customers.

He has asked his colleague, Rep. Bob Godshall (R-Montgomery) – who serves as chairman of the House Consumer Affairs Committee – to hold a hearing to look into the situation.


“Customers deserve to know exactly why this company couldn’t deliver clean drinking water and if anything could have been done to anticipate or prevent this situation,” said Vereb in a news release Thursday.

Thousands of residents in Montgomery County were told to boil their water this week before consuming it.

The advisory was issued by Pennsylvania American Water after its system lost pressure. The loss of pressure could allow bacteria to enter the water. Boiling the water kills bacteria.

“When people pay their water bills, they expect to receive clean, drinkable water,” Vereb said.

“I’ve received a number of calls from constituents and they want to know why this happened and what the company plans to do to prevent it from happening in the future.”

The boil water advisory cannot be lifted until test results show the water is safe for human consumption.

"We want to give the company an opportunity to explain in detail why this happened and answer questions that constituents are bringing to state representatives,” Vereb said.

The boil water advisory remains in effect for about 18,000 customers, the company reported Thursday. It will be lifted when sampling shows no signs of bacteria. A second sample was being taken Thursday afternoon.

The company reported the water system is back to full pressure and adequate capacity.