State Senator Paul Fogarty says he will introduce legislation next year requiring water utilities to have access to automated phone alert systems. The initiative was prompted by the boil water advisory issued for parts of Kent County Sunday. Several hours elapsed between the time bacteria was found in the system and customers were notified.
Fogarty said water utilities have a unique responsibility. When they have a problem, he says, it’s vital they notify customers immediately.
The Rhode Island Health Department has lifted a boil water advisory for customers of the Kent County Water Authority after a third day of tests showed the water clean of bacteria. Some 25-thousand customers have had to boil their drinking water since Sunday, when the contamination was discovered in a storage tank. The tank has been taken offline until the source of the contamination is determined.
A boil water order remains in effect for 25,000 customers of the Kent County Water Authority after tests showed the water was contaminated with E. coli bacteria
School was held Monday in West Warwick but it wasn’t completely business as usual. Bottled water was trucked in Sunday afternoon, as soon as school officials learned of the problem with E. Coli bacteria in the water supply. And other changes were made to keep kids safe, according to Kenneth Townsend, the school department’s director of property services.
The public is invited to comment Tuesday on a proposed rate increase by the Providence Water Supply Board. Because Providence sells its water to other municipalities, the rate increase would affect residents in nearly 60 percent of the state.
It’s the first rate hike in four years, and for city residents it means a 24 percent increase. The water board says that’s an additional $6.00 for the average customer.
For the cities of Warwick and East Providence, and for the Kent County and Bristol County water authorities, rates would go up 32 percent.