Senoia’s leaders are trying to find out the best way to inform people when there is a boil water advisory.
In the 24 hours following a water main break or pipe repair, customers in an affected area typically have to boil water before using it for drinking or making ice.
City Manager Harold Simmons told the council that the boil water advisory – as well as a notice that the advisory is lifted – can be posted in various media outlets including Atlanta news stations and social media.
However, “a lot of citizens have asked if that is enough,” he said.
Simmons said he has looked into two different smart phone apps that could send out notifications. Both would require water customers to sign up. One, which would cost the city $3,500 a year, would send out emergency alerts, including the boil water notice and weather alerts. The other would send out an email.
“No matter what you do, everybody doesn’t have a smart phone,” Simmons said. “So it is a balance of how far do we go and how much money do we spend for an event that takes place once or twice a year."
Mayor Jeff Fisher said that Senoia residents could also make sure their neighbors know, especially if they are elderly or special needs. Some homeowners associations can send out mass bulletins.
Some residents at the meeting spoke, and most said they thought large signs on roadways would be the best way to let people know.
“I’m one of your senior citizens that has technology but doesn’t use it a lot,” said Jim Garver. He said he got a notification about the boil water advisory, but not about it being lifted.
Chester Cannaday said he has a flip phone and only checks his email once a month or so. He thought signs would work.
Councilman Dub Pearman said that the city has a phone number for every water customer.
Simmons said he thinks instead of spending $3,500 on the app, the city should have some signs made up. After the next boil water advisory, the city can take a survey and find out how well the signs worked.