City Of Norwich Moves Swiftly To Manage Boil Water Advisory
Published: June 21st, 2024
By: Anna Ginelli

City of Norwich moves swiftly to manage boil water advisory City of Norwich Mayor Brian Doliver and Emergency Management Officer Stephen Cady loaded cases of free water into vehicles at the Norwich Fire Department as temperature neared 90 degrees on Thursday. The city and county offered bottled water after a boil water warning was issued this week by the municipality. (Photo by Tyler Murphy)

NORWICH – On Wednesday morning, Norwich issued a boil water advisory due to a malfunctioning chlorinator at the water treatment plant, city officials say. The chlorinator is meant to remove harmful microbes from the water. The city has been working daily to solve the problem.

According to Norwich Mayor Brian Doliver, the city follows a strict protocol. It requires a 48-hour waiting period, and two consecutive negative water quality tests are completed before the water is deemed safe for consumption. Doliver said the city has another water system flushing out the chlorinated water with non-chlorinated water. He expects the water will be safe to drink late Friday afternoon. The city will notify residents when the water is safe to drink again.

“The city was prepared and took the proper steps to get things done, and we’re hopeful everything will return to normal tomorrow afternoon,” he said on Thursday.

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The advisory affects anyone consuming water, including humans and animals. Before consuming tap water, bring it to a boil and wait for one minute before taking it off the heat. Then, wait for the water to cool so it is safe to drink.

In addition to residents, the outage has caused several businesses and employers in the city and town to either close or limit services.

If someone ingests the water, Doliver said there is only a “slim chance” that they will need medical attention. But, he said that is not enough to risk drinking the water. No one has required medical attention from ingesting the contaminated water.

According to the City of Norwich Emergency Operations Center, by the end of Thursday the city had handed out over 20,000 bottles of water on 11 pallets at the fire department. The water was provided by the state, the Chenango County Department of Public Health, and the city. For the time being, the city will not hand out more water.

Doliver said this boil water advisory is rare and has not happened since he was elected mayor in November 2021.

Department of Public Works Superintendent Edward Pepe said he also expects the advisory to be lifted soon, contingent on the results of the water quality tests.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience on the matter, and we are confident that it will be fixed soon,” he said.

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Norwich Sixth Ward Alderman Robert Jeffrey applauded the committed efforts of city personnel to resolve the contamination issue.

“I feel as though the city moved swiftly and effectively to manage the situation, especially the Department of Public Works and Stephen Cady, the city’s emergency management officer,” he said.

The City of Norwich boil water advisory remains in effect until further notice. Anyone seeking information can contact the city at (607) 337-1250 or the Chenango County Health Department at (607) 337-1673.