Elkins Launches Water Problem Reporter

The City of Elkins has launched an online tool that people can use to report problems related to the city’s water system. The COE Water Problem Reporter may be accessed on computers, tablet, and smartphones.

The main purpose of the COE Water Problem Reporter is to make it easier for people to report water problems, but it will also help Elkins Water Board employees track and analyze possible causes of reported problems.

“The idea for this app came out of conversations we were having about how to tackle some of the trickier issues we sometimes face with the water system, like odors, tastes, or discoloration,” says Wes Lambert, the chief operator of the Elkins water system. “These aren’t very common but they are obviously extremely frustrating to the customers experiencing them, and we’re committed to doing everything we can to get to the bottom of these. One thing we’re really excited about is the ability to view problem reports on a map, because we think that could really help us get to the root causes.”

The online app provides both a map interface and text-entry fields. Once a report is submitted, email notifications are automatically sent to both water board and city personnel. As each issue is investigated and resolved, its status can be updated in the app.

“Someone who wants to submit a report can either type in the address or drop a point on the map,” says Ben Martin, the city’s GIS technician and the person who built the app using ArcGIS software. “Anyone can then use the map to see what’s been reported and what the status of each report is.”

The Elkins Water Treatment Plant provides clean drinking water to about 4,000 customer locations inside city limits as well as to the customers of its resale distributors, the Midland and Leadsville Public Service Districts. All water-treatment and water-distribution operations are performed in strict compliance with regulations imposed by the West Virginia DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. To further safeguard city water customers, water board employees also perform spot-testing at various locations around the city on a regular basis.

Find the COE Water Problem Reporter here: www.bit.ly/Water-Problem-Reporter.

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