RI Senator: utilities need automated alert system

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island state senator wants to require water utilities to have automated phone alert systems to notify customers about water supply problems.

Sen. Paul Fogarty, a Democrat from Glocester, announced Wednesday that he plans to introduce legislation next session that would ensure utilities have a quick, reliable and affordable way to warn customers about problems.

The proposal comes after tens of thousands of people were forced to boil water after E. coli bacteria were found in a water tank used by the Kent County Water Authority. While no illnesses have been reported, some officials have complained that the public wasn’t notified quickly.

The boil-water advisory has now been lifted.

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