Last Thursday evening when we learned that a strain of E Coli bacteria had been detected in the City of Laurel's water supply our news team took steps to notify the public immediately. We sent email & Smartphone push alerts, ran our NewsTicker over primetime programming, and posted it to our Twitter and Facebook feeds.
Here at WDAM we consider it a huge responsibility to help notify the public of potential dangers as quickly as possible, but in today's high-speed digital era, I'm shocked that many of our local and municipal water associations are not prepared to do the same. The majority of water utilities in our viewing area solely rely on local media to spread the word about boil water notices. Even worse some water associations don't have functioning websites to post boil water alerts.
In my opinion, all Mississippi water associations should have text messaging or at least email alert infrastructures in place to immediately notify customers when a potentially dangerous boil water notice is in place.
Let's remember, this is not the 1980s, you should not have to be tethered to television news or a newspaper to find out when it's unsafe to drink your water.
If your water association does not have a proactive way of notifying you about a dangerous situation, I encourage you to ask them why not? Furthermore, ask your local lawmaker why water associations are not required to make a greater effort to let you know that you and your family are about to ingest something that could be harmful.
I'm Jim Cameron and that's today's Viewpoint. Write and let me know what you think.