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Water Board setting up notification system

WEIRTON — The Weirton Area Water Board is working on setting up a mass notification system as a way to alert its customers in the event of line breaks, boil orders and other utility-related concerns.

Utilities Director Butch Mastrantoni, during last week’s board meeting, explained the West Virginia Legislature had passed a bill mandating all water utilities in the state have an alert system to notify customers via cellphone.

“We became aware of this a month ago,” Mastrantoni said, explaining the board must have its system ready by Dec. 31.

Chief Operator Jasen Havens noted water customers will have to register in order to receive the alerts. When an incident takes place, Water Board staff will enter the information into the system.

“As soon as we hit send, it will go out to anyone who has opted in,” Havens said.

Havens noted the board previously had been part of the “Heads Up” system managed through the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.

“We piggy-backed off their system,” Havens said, noting that particular system no longer is in use locally.

The City of Weirton also offers an email and phone-based notification system.

Havens noted a flier is being developed, to be sent out with the next water bill, to better explain the system for customers.

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