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Social Media Helped Spread Information on Water Main Break

Homeowners and officials from Pennsylvania American Water are reflecting on how information was shared during the recent water emergency in Scranton.
Thousands of people who lost water last week in Lackawanna County no longer have to boil their water.

Pennsylvania American Water has lifted a boil water advisory for roughly 6,500 homeowners and businesses in South Scranton, Moosic and Taylor.

Water company officials say testing done both Saturday and Sunday show the water is safe to drink.

Now that the emergency is over, many people are reflecting on the job the water company did communicating the situation that was happening.

At Madzin's Market in South Scranton customers were not only talking about the weather Monday but also the fact their water is back.

"It feels good. It feels real good because now I can take a bath, a shower, whatever I want to do," Rich Hallock of South Scranton says. "We can wash our dishes."

The 500-block of River Street is also back to normal. For much of last week it was torn up by the 36-inch transmission line that needed work.

Service was restored to people over the weekend and a water boil advisory was lifted Monday morning.

"Some customers may experience some cloudy water or some discolored water for a while," Pennsylvania American Water spokeswoman Susan Turcmanovich said. "We're just asking them to run their cold water lines until that gets out of the system."

Water company officials say the line that leaked was from 1908 and is in otherwise good shape.

During the water emergency, employees say they did their best to keep people informed. They say social media has changed the game as they were able to answer people's questions directly on Facebook and Twitter. It's a place people could turn to for constant updates.

"The nice thing about social media is that people could easily share it so we had a lot of people out there that were sharing our information and getting it to the people that were affected," Turcmanovich said.

As for those people affected, between the voicemails they received and the media information, they say the water company did a good job.

"I think they did a great job. They were quick. They responded quick and it was back on in no time," Suzette Wayman of South Scranton said.

"We knew what was going on and they were fair with communication," Hallock said.

"Overall, I think they did a good job for what they had to work with, I mean, they're working with a system that's 100 years old," Joe Madzin said.

People who still have questions or concerns can contact the Pennsylvania American Water customer service center at 1-800-565-7292.
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