Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Boil-water warning wasn't heard

Methods of notification questioned

By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WEST CHESTER TWP. - A boil water advisory was lifted Monday afternoon for areas totaling 5,000 people in West Chester and Liberty townships east of Interstate 75 and in part of Warren County.

The advisory was issued Sunday after a water main break on Allen Road between Cincinnati-Dayton Road and Schumacher Park Drive between 5 and 6 a.m.

But residents and even some elected officials complained they were not aware of the precautionary boil advisory until Monday morning.

They questioned why county officials did not notify residents and business operators other than to send out notices to the media and government offices Sunday afternoon.

"They have a legal responsibility to go door-to-door and at least hang door knockers that notify people," said Patty Thomas of West Chester. "It is really appalling that the county didn't make a greater effort to notify people. If we can't drink the water coming out of our taps, we ought to be told that."

But county officials say they followed state procedures for notification of precautionary boils that impact so many people.

"In cases where there is a very small amount of people affected, door-to-door notification is possible," said Tony Parrott, director of the Butler County Department of Environmental Services. "But in a situation where you have 5,000 residents, the quickest way ... is through the local (media)."

"People should be upset," said West Chester Trustee Catherine Stoker. "This is a health problem, and people need to be notified. They need to place notices on the doors of businesses and homes. The Butler County Department of Environmental Services is not some Pollyanna organization to say, `Everything is wonderful.' They are there to provide safe drinking and sewer services, and this is all part of that service."

The cause of the break in the 16-inch water line that was installed in 1965 still was not known Monday, county officials said. It could be weather-related.

Mr. Parrott said a 24-inch water main will replace the one that broke. Though unlikely, a water main break could allow contaminants to enter the water system, county officials said.

E-mail jedwards@enquirer.com

Girl, 17, killed while holding child
Lottery sales up, but profit misses goal
Boyles gets 13 years in ex-girlfriend's death
Buckeyes gear flies out of stores
Troops ship out by the thousands

PULFER: Helping kids early and often
RADEL: Second job was what he wanted

Mt. Healthy stops school bus service
Mom, daughter killed in crash
School board elects Warner president
New police oversight agency meets
Another local boy joins Vienna choir
Donation to pay for flags on firetrucks
Firefighters, police aid McDonald House

3 suing to stay can - for now
Class-action suit sought on Oxycontin
Obituary: Ruth Shaffer, 92, was organist
Obituary: Alfred Wilhelm, Diamond executive
Good News: Travel show partnering in coat drive

Perjury an issue in Butler courts
Deadly road gets rumble strips
Boil-water warning wasn't heard
Policeman hurt while questioning motorist
Fairfield laboratories focus on heart disease

Attempted murder added to charges
Rapist found slain in cell

Ohio Moments: Midwest got a taste of Antarctica's weather
Blackwell: GOP should boost black staffing
Village ponders ads on cruisers

Democratic strategy session moved
Another local auto business burgled
Patton outlines tax-hike targets
Voters get voice at town meeting
$10M grant to help Kentucky's jobless
Jackson to run for Ky. governor
Around the Commonwealth