The majority of United Water’s facilities in Rockland County will remain on generators until the power grid has been stabilized. With the activation of generators and assignment of critical emergency operations teams at its facilities, United Water said it has been able to ensure uninterrupted service to the majority of its customers and to maintain the safety of water infrastructure and supply.
“Independent backup power is a key component of our emergency response plan which allows us to continue water service to our customers,” said Michael Pointing, vice president and general manager of the United Water New York division.
Some customers in West Nyack, Piermont and Grand View are still under a boil water order.
“Our priority is to keep the water flowing to the greatest extent possible,” said . Pointing. “With the exception of a very small number of customers who were without water for no more than several hours, we were able to keep the water flowing despite this very serious storm.”
In addition, emergency personnel, including company engineers, worked 24 hours a day to ensure that treatment plants, wells, pump stations and dams were operational.
“Our first priority is always to keep the water flowing for homes, businesses and firefighting," said Pointing. "Our customers helped us achieve this by responding to a request for conservation once our emergency generators went online. We ask them to continue to be mindful of water usage during this time."
Despite hurricane force winds the company’s dams suffered no damage and operated in a safe manner, according to procedure, throughout the storm. Hurricane Sandy, however, did not bring the significant rain that was originally predicted. With about one-half inch of rain, the severe winds were the greatest issue.
United Water personnel worked closely with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the Rockland County Office of Emergency Management throughout the storm and will continue to do so throughout the recovery process.