Jul 18, 2012

Water Service Restored to All West Virginia American Water Customers

Precautionary boil water advisories issued by state have been lifted

Water service has been fully restored to all 171,000 customers in West Virginia American Water’s systems following storms that caused extensive power outages across the state. While a small number of remote sites continue to run on backup generator power, customers are not experiencing any issues with their water quality or water pressure.

It will take several weeks to permanently repair dozens of storm-damaged communication hubs, radio antennas and cables at water storage tank sites; however, customers should not see any additional storm-related service disruptions or changes in water pressure.

Each day, West Virginia American Water treats and pumps 50 million gal of water through 3,500 miles of water main across the state. Water is pumped as far as 70 miles through mountainous terrain before it reaches its final destination at a home or business, a process which requires an immense amount of power.

“When power is interrupted to more than half of West Virginia American Water’s 350-plus electricity-dependent sites as it was following the June 29 storms, it takes a monumental effort by our employees to keep the water flowing,” said Jeff McIntyre, president of West Virginia American Water. “Thanks to their dedication, expertise and tireless hours, these men and women put our customers first and were able to maintain uninterrupted water service to more than 90% of our customers throughout the entire event – an outstanding achievement they should certainly be proud of.”

Employees worked around the clock for days keeping water treatment plants operational and moving dozens of generators back and forth to remote sites across the state. Within the first eight days of the two-week power restoration efforts, West Virginia American Water had restored full water service to all but approximately 200 of the company’s customers across the state. Water service has been fully restored to the remaining customers, and the precautionary boil water advisory issued statewide by the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health on July 2 has been lifted for all West Virginia American Water customers.

“I would like to recognize the thousands of workers, emergency responders and volunteers who are working as diligently as our own employees to get through this challenging event,” McIntyre said. “I also am especially grateful for the families of our employees, many of whom changed vacation plans and spent the holidays apart from their loved ones in support of these critical efforts.”