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Assemblywoman Linda Stender is sponsoring legislation to require public water systems to provide prompt public notice when a boil water notice is in effect.

Under the bill (A-2747), the notice would have to be provided via a customer’s preferred means of contact and would have to contain the key information about the boil water notice.

“This is really just plain common sense,” said Stender (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset). “Public water companies require the public to boil water when, for whatever reason, there is a substantial risk of illness. To protect public health, these boil water notices must be issued in a timely manner and reach the public as soon as practicable.”

Stender said the notice could be provided by telephone call or e-mail, whichever the customer prefers.

“In this day and age, electronic communications provide an effective and reliable means of providing that prompt notice, so that’s what we should be doing,” Stender said.

The bill also requires that the boil water notice contain useful information, including the affected area, actions that may be taken by consumers and a telephone number where consumers may reach an appropriate party to address questions or other concerns.

The bill was recently released by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for more consideration.