Last week, a major water leak caused thousands of people to be cautious about their drinking water in Western New York. Via the Erie County Water Authority, here is a fact sheet to keep in mind:

  • On average, the Erie County Water Authority distribution system experiences in excess of 1,100 line breaks per year.
  • Water distribution systems experience increased line breaks in very cold, very hot, or very busy periods. Today, in addition to high temperatures, there is a high demand for water due to ongoing drought conditions.
  • We normally pump 68 million gallons per day to our customers. Today, we are averaging 121 million gallons.
  • On July 24, 2016, our dispatch crews are addressing 11 leaks. This is not an unusually high number for a peak period.
  • Boil Water Notices are extremely rare; the last one issued by ECWA was 10 years ago. There is no reason to issue a Boil Water Notice today or for the other 1,100 breaks our crews will find and fix in the next 12 months. Again, these orders are very rarely necessary.
  • Our system's high rate of repair is due to the area's declining infrastructure – in many sections our pipes are 100 years old. ECWA's infrastructure charge to customers funds ongoing efforts to update these aging parts of its system.